BY SPNW Staff 10:39AM 02/05/2013

Watts says NBA expansion would be better

As always, former winner Slick Watts was a guest at the Star of the Year event. The former Sonics star thinks an expansion team would serve Seattle better in returning to the NBA.

Slick Watts has a generous view of David Stern: He thinks the NBA commissioner will do right by Seattle this time. Nevertheless, the former Sonics point guard would prefer, if such a choice were available, that the replacement for the Sonics be an expansion team.

Former winner Donald Earl Watts, 61, is a regular returnee at the Sports Star of the Year event, this time Jan. 26 at Benaroya Hall. With his bald head, crooked headband, colorful speech and energetic play, Watts, a native of Rolling Fork, MS., was an instant hit with Seattle fans in the Sonics’ early years. The highlight of his eight-year NBA career was 1975-76, when he led the NBA in assists and steals.

Watts has remained a lifelong Seattle resident and supported local sports, providing a son, Donald, to the University of Washington basketball program. As much as Watts wants to see the NBA in town, he told SPNW’s Art Thiel that he thinks waiting for an expansion team is the better option, rather than pursue the Sacramento King or one of the other weak franchises

Hansen has said he is open to the idea, but he put down an offer of $341 million (on a $525 million value) for 65 percent of the Kings last month. The NBA has offered no plan or even timetable for expansion, but said it will consider a qualified counteroffer from Sacramento business leaders to keep the Kings in town as long as plans for a new downtown arena are included.


  • Dan

    I love Slick but I’m not gonna just wait for an expansion team with no promise. The nba owes us! If they want Hansen to stop pursuing the Kings they should offer Seattle expansion. But not just a promise. A date. Promising the “next expansion team” can be in 10-20 years. I want the nba back in no later then 2 years.

    • Let me guess, you are a victim and you are owed something. Nevermind the fact that Mr. Starbucks and your city, county and state all told the NBA to get lost only a few short years ago? Why don’t you file a complaint wit da gubment and see how that goes, brah. lmao

    • jafabian

      In Durant’s rookie year the team won only 20 games. About what an expansion team would do. Then the next year they won 23, then jumped to 50 games the next and made the playoffs. I’d have no problem with an expansion team coming in as long as there’s marked improvement each season.

      • 1coolguy

        The operative work here is “Durant” – a phenom that comes around rarely. In addition, they have a very skilled GM and coach who put together a team around Durant that is remarkable.
        I wouldn’t count on that occuring again in some time.

    • a seattle, san deigo, newark , pitssburgh/buffalo , baltimore , st louis expansion would be great … alll good sports markets all come with built in rival teams ( san deigo – la , newark philly, baltimore dc , pittsburgh cleveland )

  • Michael Kaiser

    AMEN! A man with a brain. And my first NBA “hero” as well.

  • Michael Kaiser

    By the way, next time you run into Slick ask him how often teams get “lucky” and end up with a Durant. LOL. That was hilarious.

  • jafabian

    The media and players have largely said that moving a franchise from Seattle to OKC was a bad move. Then the NBA moves the Nets to Brooklyn and will be moving the Warriors to SF. Not sure if moving yet another franchise is the best business decision to make when they are a business that’s dependent on it’s relationship with its fans. Having franchises continuously moving can make for a disinterested fanbase. It’s like a network changing the airtime of a program all the time.

    However given the economics of the NBA as well as the country I don’t see expansion happening though I agree with the spirit of what Slick suggests. Especially since the NBA has made the term “announced attendance” a household expression right up there with “wardrobe malfunction.” Why they insist on 25,000 seat arenas is a head scratcher, at least to me. How often do they really sell out?

    Remember when Slick used to not leave the Coliseum after the game until he gave an autograph to all fans who waited after the game for him? There’s some NBA players who should hear those stories about him.

  • 1coolguy

    The present owners would be fools to even consider expansion. The number of these guys making over $10m a year is digusting and with more teams there would be more bidders.
    The NBA players are rediculously overpaid as is and is why I dropped my Sonic tickets the year Payton retired.
    Go see a Husky game if you want enthusiasm and excitement, while leaving some $$$ in your pocket!

    • none of your reasons deal with an expansion .. thats the quality of product that the league puts out … even if there were more players that just means that more teams would have only one star with more complement players ( chicago style)