Commentary: A Storm championship would mark a perfect farewell to KeyArena

I could stand here tonight and spend a few minutes expressing a genuine concern for the Seahawks situation at right tackle, but we’ve still got a little time before the regular season starts.

I could discuss the Mariners clinging to hope of a James Paxton return to the mound as they chase the Astros and the A’s for their first playoff spot in 17 years. Or I could marvel at the Sounders incredible six-match winning streak and nine-match unbeaten streak that’s vaulted them to the verge of playoff position, but their season doesn’t end until the end of October.

All of these are relevant topics and the local sports scene is about to get even more hectic when you add Husky and Cougar football, and the Reign FC’s likely playoff run too.

So consider this an important reminder that the Seattle Storm are officially the top seed in the WNBA Playoffs, with the best record in the league and home court advantage throughout the postseason.

Consider it a reminder that the Storm are just six wins away from winning their third championship in franchise history. That Breanna Stewart is in the midst of an MVP-worthy season. And that the Storm have hosted sell-out crowds of close to 11,000 fans for five straight games.

Tonight’s message isn’t geared toward the loyal Storm Crazies who already have next Sunday’s Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals circled on their calendar.

It’s to anyone who’s enjoyed watching meaningful basketball in that intimate setting before – because you won’t get another chance.

KeyArena will undergo a complete renovation this November. Yes, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors will host an exhibition game there in October, and yes, that will be a great way for local fans to demonstrate their passion for bringing the NBA and the Sonics back home.

But it’s a disservice to the Storm organization to overlook this year’s postseason as a chance for local basketball fans to show a similar passion. This is the Storm’s final playoff run at The Key too. Everything going forward – from their relocation to UW for a couple years to their future digs at a brand new Seattle Center Arena – will be different. For better or worse, it won’t be the same.

Who knows how much longer Sue Bird will play. But I do know that the next few weeks could be the last time to see the future Hall of Famer lead her team in playoff games at KeyArena.

I do know there’s a certain electricity in that building when it’s full. One that’s memorable. One that’s contagious. One that, no doubt, plays a role in picking up the home team when they’re down.

On Friday night, Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted a photo with Slick Watts at the Storm game, reminding us of a championship era of Sonics basketball in the late 70s.

Before that upcoming renovation, why not take part in a championship celebration once again? Why not end the KeyArena era on a championship note?

The Storm already have their loyal support. But tonight serves as a reminder that they could always use more.