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Golden State GM says Warriors president was ‘on a mission’ to bring an NBA game to Seattle

Warriors GM Bob Myers talked about the NBA preseason game in Seattle. (AP)

When the news surfaced that the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings were going to play an NBA preseason game in Seattle, it seemed a bit like a cruel joke.

NBA’s Warriors, Kings set preseason game at Seattle’s KeyArena

So the league that yanked a 41-year-old franchise with a championship to its name out of Seattle wants to stage an exhibition game in the last scheduled event in the very building that was deemed unfit to house an NBA team 10 years prior? And the game would include Kevin Durant, the star of the final Sonics team, going up against the franchise that nearly became the new Sonics before the NBA put its foot down to prevent Sacramento from having its team ripped away like Seattle already had?

The Friday, Oct. 5 game at KeyArena isn’t a prank on Seattle’s basketball fans, however. On the Warriors’ end, scheduling the game was more about a Seattle native, Golden State president and CEO Rick Welts, trying to bring the league back to where he first fell in love with the game.

“He was kind of on a mission to get some kind of basketball back to Seattle,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Danny, Dave and Moore on Monday. “He was a ballboy (for the Sonics), he was reared in the NBA in Seattle and has great roots there, so he was kind of the impetus on our side. (We) didn’t need much convincing. … There was no need to push – it was pretty easy to say, ‘If we can get it done, let’s go.’

“We’re excited – everyone’s excited and hopefully it will give the fans up there some taste of the NBA.”

Myers, who has ties to Seattle himself from his days working as an agent in the league and through a brother that attended UW, said the preseason game isn’t so much about taking the temperature on whether the NBA would be successful if it returned to the city. That much is already clear to him.

“There’s hurdles to get over (in bringing an expansion team to Seattle), but I don’t think Seattle needs to sell itself on how great of a city it is – in any aspect, whether it’s the economy, the people, the appetite for sports,” he said. “… When the conversation (of NBA expansion) comes up, you have to think it has to be at the top or near the top of the list of cities in the United States, or anywhere for that matter.”

You can hear the full interview with Myers, who also talked about Warriors guard and former WSU Cougars star Klay Thompson, in this podcast from Monday’s show.

Tickets for the Warriors-Kings game at KeyArena went on sale Tuesday.