Bringing the Seattle SuperSonics back to town should be a high priority. At least that’s what the majority of readers believe.
The 2020-21 NBA season tipped off last week, and during his start-of-season press conference NBA commissioner Adam Silver alluded to the possibility of the league expanding. The belief is that Seattle, which had an NBA franchise from 1967-2008, would be at the top of the list.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers how important they thought it was for the NBA to bring the SuperSonics back.
POLL: With NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledging the league has explored the possibility of expansion, how important is it to you that the NBA brings the Seattle SuperSonics back? Full context here: https://t.co/HXmB3ayqvp
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) December 28, 2020
Add up the results between the poll posted on The Herald’s website and the one posted on Twitter and it seems there’s strong support for bringing professional basketball back to the region. More than half the voters — 54% — said it was very important to bring the Sonics back. That was substantially more than the 33% who said it was not important or the 13% who said it was somewhat important.
Based on these results, it appears there’s strong support for restoring an NBA team to Seattle. This makes a lot of sense. The Sonics were not some perpetual cellar-dwelling organization. Seattle was a consistent postseason qualifier, missing the playoffs just seven times between 1975 and 2002. The Sonics won five division championships (not shabby, considering Seattle was always in a division with the Los Angeles Lakers), three conference titles, and lifted the Walter A. Brown Trophy as NBA champions in 1979, the first Seattle major professional franchise to win a title. And the team had tremendous community support — if you were around in 1979 you may remember people singing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” in the street after the Sonics’ Game 5 victory over the Washington Bullets.
However, one also has to take into account the discrepancy in the voting between the two polls. On Twitter, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the Sonics, as 77% of the responders labeled it very important to bring back the team, while just 10% said it was not important. However, on the website the results were significantly different, with 48% saying it was very important and 39% saying it wasn’t.
Why the 29-point swing? My guess is that it’s because there’s a different voting demographic between the two platforms. On Twitter, everyone who follows me is a sports fan, and it makes sense that sports fans would be in favor of bringing the Sonics back. However, the Seattle Sidelines polls are now being posted on the homepage of the website, which is viewed by both those who love sports and those who are less enthusiastic. Those results may be a better representation of the public at large, at least in Snohomish County.
But either way, more voters are strongly for bringing back the Sonics than strongly against. With the NBA at least exploring the possibility of expansion, and with Climate Pledge Arena set to open in time for the 2021-22 NHL season, those who want the Sonics back may be that much closer to getting their wish.