8/1/2014

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After more bad news, Sonics fans try to keep the faith

After more bad news, Sonics fans try to keep the faith

SEATTLE -- With a Sonics scarf draped around his neck and a tattoo of the team's logo on his arm, Taylor Bartle is like many green and gold faithful in Seattle -- plenty of love, but no one to give it to.

It's part of why he and others with Sonics Rising started the first "Green and Gold Monday" at Oskar's Kitchen in Queen Anne.

It is a nod to the Seahawks' "Blue Friday" that captivated Western Washington for months. That Super Bowl success could make a difference.

"There's no way the people in the NBA can watch that parade, see 750,000 people lining the streets of Seattle and not think that they want to be a part of that," Bartle said.

For the NBA, it isn't so much about not wanting Seattle. It's about not wanting a new team at all.

On Saturday, new league commissioner Adam Silver said what many Sonics fans had feared: no expansion right now.

"My job is to ensure that 30 teams are healthy and competitive and so that's what my priority is as opposed to expansion," Silver said during All-Star weekend in New Orleans.

"He didn't say everything we wanted to hear, but I don't think he said anything we didn't expect to hear," Bartle said.

Oskar's manager Zach Setter had to bite his tongue.

"There's a few words I could use for that one, but it's disappointing, but hopefully something will change shortly, you know?" he asked.

The Milwaukee Bucks are one of those financially-troubled teams on Silver's radar. They need a new arena and the current owner Herb Kohl wants to bring in new investors, but only ones who vow not move the team.

So if no NBA, what about a little hockey?

The NHL has hinted it may be in the mood to expand, but other cities like Kansas City have arenas ready to go. Quebec City isn't far behind and even Las Vegas has been mentioned as a possible target.

Seattle's SoDo arena finances are shaky if the building is NHL-only. The city and county have said in the past that the Memorandum of Understanding would need to be modified in order to make the math pencil out, which is not a given.

Seattle supports a winner. It just needs a team to root for.

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