Seattle “Loves” The NBA But Does The NBA Love Seattle?

A pre-season contest doesn’t mean a franchise is coming soon.

In sports, the pre-season is where the hope for a successful season starts and in some cities that don’t have major league teams, like Seattle which does not have a National Basketball Association franchise, it is the time of promise after hosting a meaningless warmup for the season contest. Seattle hosted a pre-season game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers, a franchise owned by Seattle native Steve Ballmer. Normally, a league rolls into a city that wants a team, there are a bunch of niceties uttered by the league and the local promoters and that is about it. A pre-season game means nothing in terms of whether a city or an area can support a team. But Seattle business and political leaders got out and were seen at what was a meaningless exhibition that was no different from an NBA pre-season game in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada or in Japan. That may be more important than the crowd showing up at the game.

For an NBA or any major league franchise to be successful. Government support is the most essential element needed. Corporate support is another piece of the puzzle as is local cable and streaming TV. But the leagues know the TV numbers. What leagues do not know is how much political and business support there really is for a franchise.  Amazon CEO Andy Jassy showed up. Jassy is a part-owner of the Seattle Kraken, the city’s National Hockey League franchise. In 2020, the renovated Seattle arena got a naming rights deal venue from Amazon which is a significant player in the city’s business circles. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had to be happy to see the Washington Governor, the Seattle Mayor, and the King County Executive in the building. Ballmer knows Seattle is an NBA city, all it lacks is a franchise.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes –

Evan can be reached at