Gary Payton Reveals Investment Group for Seattle SuperSonics Return


Getty Images Gary Payton coaching in 2019 Big 3 Playoffs

In November of 2018, following the Golden State Warriors morning shootaround in before they took on the Dallas Mavericks, I spoke with Kevin Durant about the possibility of owning a piece of the Seattle SuperSonics once he retired from the NBA.

”Hell yeah, I would love to, but it is way easier to say, yeah, I want to be a part of it, than to know how to do it,” Durant told me.

Durant added: “That would be so much fun to bring basketball back to Seattle and try to build a winning team. As someone that enjoys the business as well, but understands the pure game of basketball. Especially in Seattle, that would be sweet. That has always been a dream of mine to run an NBA franchise and help lead young players and young people as I get older; that would be an amazing experience.”

”That would be a dream come true because all I really want to do with my time on earth is to be around basketball. If I can’t play anymore, that would be the next best option.”

Gary Payton on Kevin Durant Wanting to Own the Sonics One Day

Back in August, Hall of Famer and Seattle Sonics great Gary Payton was interviewed by Fanatics View and was asked to weigh in on Durant’s interest in purchasing a piece of the Supersonics when his career is over.

“That’s good for Kevin to even say that because the team drafted him, and he respects Seattle so much,” said Payton. Our team should have never left, and I’m a big part of that – it would be great for him to come and be a part of it too. Come back to the Northwest, and if he wants to move here like we are going to do, it will be good. It is always good to see a player of his caliber that drafted and knows that our team should not have left and knows Seattle deserves a team. For him to say that, he will welcome with open hands, and I hope that happens.”

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Which Ownership Group is Payton Partnering With?

Payton was asked which group he will be partnering with in the efforts to bring the Sonics back to Seattle – the Oak View Group or the Sonics Arena Group led by Chris Hansen.

“The other one (the Oak View Group) I don’t know what’s going to happen with Chris. It depends on what the NBA wants, and we have a lot of things going on in Seattle. We are going to first focus on getting our arena up and getting our hockey league in there. I will be at a lot of the hockey games, and we want the fans to see us (Sam Perkins, Detlef Schrempf, Shawn Kemp, and myself) more,” said Payton.

Kevin Durant Willing to Lend His Name to Bring Sonics Back

After the Golden State Warriors handled the Los Angeles Clippers in six games during the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. Cameron Buford of the LA Observer asked Durant if he would be interested in lending his name as a gesture to help bring the Supersonics back to Seattle. Buford also revealed at the time, “Seattle is having a meeting to try to bring back the Sonics” on May 13.

Durant replied, “Since we left, I’ve been screaming that a team needs to go there.”

VideoVideo related to gary payton reveals investment group for seattle supersonics return2019-11-13T00:17:21-05:00

There was one problem in the situation – no one from the city, the Key Arena renovation team, or the NBA knew anything about the meeting that was taking place. The Seattle Times reached out to Buford back in April to get to the bottom of it. Per the Times, Buford was told about the meeting by Abin Nellams, who has been working closely with Chris Hansen’s group. Nellams and Buford had also been in regular contact with each other.

“I was planning to come up there around that time to interview Chris Hansen, and he said ‘We’re having this meeting, why don’t you come to join us?” Buford said.

Abin Nellams is a member of the “Seattle community coalition” and has a working arrangement with the Sodo group on community involvement should the project be completed.

Per Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, The meeting with the Sodo group was later canceled and rescheduled after Buford announced the exact time and location of it since it was deemed private and not to be disclosed to the public.

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