A large part of what made the Seattle Sonics relocation so bad was not just what happened, but how it happened.
That drawn out and messy situation is so singular that it's somewhat unlikely that any fans will have to suffer a repeat of that nonsense. Nonetheless, Seattle fans have to feel for Sacramento Kings fans and what they might have to go through.
Start the countdown. The possibility of the Kings leaving Sacramento just became very real, if not likely, with news that the league will no longer have an active role in brokering an arena deal, a crippling blow to hopes the team and city can one day resume the love affair...The breakup was never nearly as imminent as some made it seem for years, as long as the league remained adamant that the proven success of a market will stay in the fold, but that just changed.
It's a bit too early to start discussing the possibility of the NBA's return to Seattle - there are a lot of details to be worked out prior to that moment, including the matters of an arena and ownership group as well as what "competitor" cities there might be.
However, in the hypothetical event that such a thing did occur, perhaps there's a more preliminary question worth pondering: as a city that is still suffering the loss of its own relocation, would you even want to be the city that another fan base directs their frustration at after a relocation?
Again, the situations are so different that it's unlikely that any charges of "theft" would be bandied about after a Kings move, but it would certainly be a strange reversal of fortunes if Seattle fans suddenly found themselves in position for a team to relocate to their city after being on the wrong end in the past.