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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Klay Thompson takes knee to head from Ariza

DeSean Jackson skips Redskins OTAs, goes to Cavs game

Texans to be featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

WATCH: Ducks score controversial goal

Report: Ray McDonald arrested for violating restraining order

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves, Dodgers complete six-player swap

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’

Lil B takes credit for Harden's terrible game, lifts curse

Riley Curry steals show at postgame news conference

Warriors beat Rockets in Game 5, advance to NBA Finals

Kentucky fan in Louisville has 38-1 sticker on car

Nick Kyrgios talks sex before tourneys, dating female players

Jared Dudley: 'Melo is most overrated player in NBA

Garrick Sherman bashes NCAA in epic drunken Twitter rant

Adrian Peterson denies reports that he wants to be traded

Report: Bulls players told Tom Thibodeau will not be back

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

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.