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Sonics legends leave room for optimism

Spencer Haywood, Nate McMillan tell Softy to keep the faith

Nate McMillan advances the ball Photo by Ken Levine/Getty Images

Yesterday, KJR's Dave "Softy" Mahler had a pair of Sonics legends on his radio show and they each had interesting comments about the future of the NBA in Seattle.

In hour one, Softy spoke to Spencer Haywood about his upcoming documentary "Full Court." Spencer had some interesting comments that came from a place not of speculation, but straight from the mouth of the NBA Commissioner. According to Spencer, Adam Silver told him...

"Will you help the people in Seattle understand that we want to make amends? We want a team back in Seattle immediately."

When Softy asked him how that comment came about, Spencer told him...

"I’m on the board of directors with the retired players, we have joint meetings with the collective bargaining. Here we are, we need to do something with this stadium. We need to let it go so that we can have our team."

Softy seemed a bit taken aback by this strong message from the league, but Spencer doubled down.

"[Adam Silver] wants a team back in Seattle desperately. They want to do right by Seattle, what has happened. They want to make it right."

Of course, doing so has been made immeasurably harder by the recent vote by the Seattle City Council to deny a street vacation of Occidental Avenue where an arena could be built. What did Spencer have to say about that?

"The people on city council and all the people who want to build different stadiums and arenas, they need to look at their history. Look at our history of Seattle, look what we gave the world of basketball, and let’s make a collective effort to get this team here now. Let everybody have their peace, let the NBA have a good feeling about when we put the team back in Seattle."

You can hear Spencer's entire interview below. The Sonics/arena conversation starts around the 38 minute mark.

In the third hour, Softy brought on former Sonic and new Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. Mac 10 told the fans to keep the faith because the NBA is noticing.

"I would say to all the fans continue to do what you’re doing, the NBA, they recognize that. They recognize that it is a great city and I think the next team that comes available will end up in Seattle."

"That city deserves it. It’s a great sports town."

He also re-iterated Spencer's comments, although seemingly with less inside sources but more confidence.

"I think the next team that comes available, they will look to put a team in Seattle."

"As the fan base continues to support bringing a team back, I know Gary is out there fighting to try and get a team back in the community, in that city, I think we need to continue to do that and I think things will work out for us."

Nate's comments on the issue start at the 13 minute mark.

Both of these men had their numbers retired by the Sonics and they, like us all, would surely like to see those banners hanging in Seattle once again.