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NBA returns to Puget Sound? | Sports briefs

Washington State Reps. Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens) and David Frockt (D-Seattle) announced plans to create a task force to determine strategy for legislation that would bring an NBA team back to the region.

“I’m excited about the possibilities, and determined to put together a plan without increasing taxes on the people of our state,” Rep. Hope said in a statement, also citing the $188 million per year the Sonics once contributed to the local economy according to research by economist Lon Hatamiya.

The creators of the Webby-Award winning documentary “Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team” and the ongoing Sonicsgate grassroots movement announced their support for this task force, which is the first action from Olympia on the arena issue since Senate Bill 6116 failed to receive a vote on the floor in 2009.

Legendary Sonics point guard Gary Payton responded to the news in a text message to Sonicsgate producer Adam Brown:

“I will do whatever it takes to help. It’s great a group is stepping up to get us a team back in Seattle,” Payton wrote.

The NBA has been back in local headlines this month as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that was ripped away from Seattle after 41 years, advanced to the Western Conference Finals. During this playoff run, broadcasters have repeatedly credited OKC with the historical records and achievements earned by the Sonics in Seattle.

 

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