Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/14/14

NBA fans are rejoicing over the beginning of the new season and the opening of training camps. With the expected ratification of the collective bargaining agreement today by both the players and the owners, the 150-plus day lockout will come to an end.

Many fans were struggling to cope without the NBA in their lives. Welcome to life in Seattle, I guess.

The Basketball Jones will not go away in the Emerald City as Sonics fans continue to yearn for a return of their team -- or the arrival of any team -- to cheer for. The team left for Oklahoma City three years ago and Seattle has stayed on at least one person's mind -- Gary Payton.

Payton, who helped support the Save the Sonics movement before the team officially moved, has continued to represent the Sonics and has continued to work to help Seattle return the Sonics.

"I want to get a team back there and I think we got a lot of people that are really on board for that," Payton told So Cal Sports Media in Orange County, Calif. "We're eligible to do that in September of next year. ... We're going to be OK. I think it's going to happen."

Payton seems very focused in supporting the city's quest to return the NBA to the city. He said his focus for the rest of the year is to get a team back in Seattle and that it is on his "agenda" to work with an undisclosed group to get a team back in Seattle.

 

Payton spent the better part of 13 seasons in Seattle, helping guide them to the 1996 Finals and plenty more strong regular seasons and deep playoff runs. When the Thunder approached Payton about retiring his jersey in Oklahoma City, Payton refused citing his lack of connection to that iteration of the franchise and his affection for Seattle. Since then, it seems, Payton has been the public face of the city's quest to get a team back.

 

Of course, that likely will not happen unless another team decides to move. Expansion is certainly not on the table right now coming out of this lockout. Then there is the issue of why the Sonics moved in the first place -- the arena. The NBA will not return without a new arena and the public seems less willing to pay for that now that one team has left.

You wouldn't blame Seattle residents for being a bit cynical about the game of musical chairs sports leagues play with cities across the nation.

Still, Seattle remains probably one of the top cities to net an NBA team the next time one comes up for moving. There is obviously a still impassioned fan base there -- several Sonics fans crashed a Thunder playoff game in Denver this year -- that wants to see its team returned.

With Payton hinting that there might be a group of people he is working with, maybe the financial capital is there too.

Until the team returns though, the lockout continues in Seattle.

[follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.