Like just about every other business out there, NBA owners are struggling through the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, a few of them may be looking to cut their losses and sell their teams.
“I hear in the grapevine that there are a couple of teams for sale,” O’Neal said during a recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, adding “and one may be going to Vegas.”
Now, this being a Cascadia blog and all, we’re not too interested in teams going to Vegas, except to say that if a team is moving to the dessert, it hopefully means that another one is already on its way to the Emerald City. SI.com reached out to several of their league sources after hearing Shaq’s statement, and said that most of the people they talked to believe that Seattle would be the first landing spot for any team looking to relocate. The same goes for expansion, should that ever become a reality.
It’s unclear what teams Shaq might be referring to. He is a minority owner in the Sacramento Kings, who famously almost moved to Seattle in 2005 (and were also linked to Vegas before that). After getting new ownership and a new arena, it’s extremely unlikely the Kings will be going anywhere.
Recently, the San Antonio Spurs announced an intention to sell a minority stake in that team. However, a minority stake would not give anyone the ability to relocate, and majority owner Peter Holt has already assured the city of San Antonio that the team wasn’t going anywhere.
“As an ownership group, we remain 100% committed to the city of San Antonio,” Holt said, according to Jeff Garcia of News4SA. “Every day we celebrate the amazing relationship that exists between our community, our fans, and our Spurs.
“San Antonio is home and will remain home.”
It’s too early to start making any kind of predictions or assumptions. If a team does indeed move to Las Vegas, let’s hope it means one is coming to Seattle as well.