Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 12/8/11

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]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Irving believes LeBron leaked word of trade request

Spieth tells caddie to 'get that' after incredible eagle putt

Jerry Jones weighs in on NFL's Ezekiel Elliott investigation

Report: Les Miles 'extremely interested'; in Ole Miss job

Draymond Green, Conor McGregor go at it on Instagram

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McFadden missed Cowboys charter flight to training camp

Amari Cooper shows up to training camp looking jacked

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game

WATCH: Tim Tebow blasts home run No. 4 since being promoted

Saban: HS players could start skipping senior seasons

Mike Williams shoots down reports he will need surgery

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. 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

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker