Beyond the Arc

by Ben Fiore

 

There are over 90 major cities in the United States, and approximately 60% of those cities do not have a professional sports team.  For the major cities that do have sports teams, some are missing one of the major sports.  Basketball is left out of some markets that definitely shouldn’t be.  Here’s the top 5 cities I think deserve a franchise in the NBA.

5Kansas City: With the Chiefs probably in for years of success, the sports market in Kansas city is wide open.  Seeing as that the Royals are back to being a disappointment, a new and exciting franchise would do the city some good.  Financially speaking, Kansas City is decently well off, and could reform to build a stadium if they wanted.  With the location of the city being on the border of Kansas and Missouri, this would unite a fanbase from both states.  The University of Kansas is one of the most successful college basketball programs of all time.  There is already a huge interest in basketball there, so an NBA would most likely flourish.

4. Anywhere in New Jersey: Just gonna be honest, this one is simply out of sympathy.  New Jersey is quite possibly the most shit on and disrespected state in the country.  I mean come on.  Their prized possessions are Chris Christie, the Jersey Shore, the show “The Jersey Shore” and pollution.  New Jersey is also down to only one sports team now, which is the New Jersey Devils in the NHL.  New Jersey did have the Nets of the NBA from 1967 to 2012 when the team moved to Brooklyn.  New Jersey citizens were rioting after they lost the team, and desperately want one back.  Not really sure if they can afford it honestly with their state economy in the condition it’s in while still recovering from hurricane damage from 2013.  So if the sports universe is ever able to, throw the damn state a bone and let them get basketball back.

3. Pittsburgh: Straight up, this one is biased as f*ck.  I personally have wanted to see an NBA get started in Pittsburgh since I was a kid.  In the early 2000’s, there was potential for us to receive a team.  It was rumored that Mark Cuban was magically going to bring his 2nd franchise to the city.  This was ironically during the period of time when Pitt was a force in the NCAA.  Pittsburgh isn’t a city that comes to mind when you think of “big cities” necessarily, but we do already have 3 of the 4 major sports.  So why not round it off and complete the square?  The market is there.  We wouldn’t even need to build a stadium, because the team could play at the Petersen Events Center where Pitt holds their games.  The city could fund a team within the next 5-10 years if they decided to.  The fanbase would be large.  Pittsburgh fans are diehard fans and love each and every team we have even if they disappoint.  In the northeast, we would play against teams like the Knicks, Nets, 76ers and Cavs.  Seeing that, I think we could be competitive.  More and more athletes have wanted to come to Pittsburgh because we are pretty successful sports town, and I think we could land some up and coming stars.  It makes sense, so let’s make it happen cap’n.

2. Las Vegas: Vegas is the next booming sports town.  They landed the new NHL franchise Golden Knights who debuted in 2017.  Immediately the team was a major hit and fans jumped on the bandwagon QUICK.  Not to mention the Knights went to the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.  in 2018, the Las Vegas Golden Knights were rated the 3rd most popular NHL team after just 1 season.  Vegas is also about to receive the Raiders from Oakland in the NFL.  They are growing.  A basketball team would truly make them a sports super power.  The market is clearly there, and would attract more revenue from tourists seeing as that Las Vegas is such a highly visited city.  The biggest note in all of this, gambling.  Nevada legally permits gambling.  This would draw more people t spend oney on bets for the team, and even draw more NBA fans from other teams to do the same.  Vegas is an exciting place to be, and would probably bring a ton of big names to play there.  And maybe they would run into Lamar Odom, “who was on CRAAAACK”- Stephen A. Smith.

1. Seattle: The main reason Seattle snagged my top spot on this list is that they have desperately been pushing to get back the Seattle Super Sonics.  I have to admit, I agree.  They have legends in their history such as Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen and Detlef Schrempf.  They also drafted Kevin Durant but lost him to Oklahoma City when the team moved there and became the Thunder in 2009.  Seattle just was chosen to receive an NHL expansion team that is still in the works, so they are also growing as a sports city.  The Seahawks and Mariners are mainstays, and now with welcoming an NHL franchise, they have the potential to house all 4 major sports as well.  Seattle loved their basketball team.  They were successful and extremely popular and had probably the coolest team name in the league.  The budget is there, the space is there, the following is definitely there, and most importantly the common sense is there.  Seattle would be in a tough division most likely with Portland, Golden State, and LA but I think the resurgence of the team would land them enough key free agents to make them competitive.  Multiple players in the league have said if the team was brought back, they’d love to play there.  One stipulation, they can’t change anything structurally.  Don’t just bring basketball back to Seattle, bring the SUPERSONICS back to Seattle.  Same name, color scheme, the whole 9 yards.  That’s what the people want, so FEED ME SEYMOUR.

There’s plenty of cities that I’d like to see gain an NBA franchise, these are just who I think deserve it the most.  I mean there are states and even cities that have multiple NBA Teams, so why can’t some new cities have a shot?  Some of you may not like that a few of these cities would just be bringing BACK a team, but I quite frankly don’t give a damn.  They proved they can excel with it in the past, bud so don’t get your panties in a bunch.  As for the new cities who have never had a shot at an NBA team, well I just hope that changes someday.

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

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