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A SuperSonic Comeback: NBA eyes potential foray back into Washington

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Seated just about a three-hour drive apart, Portland and Seattle should be ripe for sports rivalry. However, as of now, the only major league the cities share is the MLS and while the rivalry between Portland’s Timbers and the Seattle Sounders is real, there is still something to be desired. There was a time when this was not the case. For decades, Seattle had the SuperSonics to rival Portland’s Trailblazers, similar in both their fantastic names and in their devotion to the rivalry. The I-5 rivalry, named for the highway between the two cities, was the only major sports feud that could represent the very real social rivalry that exists between the two cities. In 2008, the SuperSonics had a hopeful future with the Rookie of the Year in Kevin Durant and while they were fresh off the worst season they had ever had, that meant they could get another good young player in the draft to pair with Durant. That pick turned into superstar and eventual MVP Russell Westbrook, but the good young roster being built would not play in Seattle. Starting in the 2008-09 season, the SuperSonics were no more, moving to Oklahoma City and becoming the Thunder. While OKC came close to a dynasty with the young core built in Seattle, the fans that watched it come together had no team to watch anymore. The I-5 rivalry was dead. For over a decade, it has remained that way and professional basketball in Seattle existed only in dreams.