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Clippers and Blazers to play preseason game in Seattle

Tyronn Lue and Chauncey Billups at Portland Trail Blazers v LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Head Coach Chauncey Billups of the Portland Trail Blazers high fives Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the LA Clippers after the game on October 25, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

SEATTLE -- The NBA is returning to Seattle - for the preseason, that is.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers will play a preseason game at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on Oct. 3, the teams announced Wednesday.

It will be the first NBA event since the former KeyArena was gutted and reconstructed as the home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm.

The final event in the previous version of the building was a NBA preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings in October 2018. That game was the first NBA event in the arena after the departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City following the 2008 season.

Clippers president of business operations Gillian Zucker said the idea for playing the game in Seattle was the brainchild of Los Angeles coach Ty Lue and Portland coach Chauncey Billups, who have been longtime friends.

The game between the Blazers and Clippers is being dubbed the “Rain City Showcase” and has significant Seattle ties. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was the former head of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft. The Blazers are owned by the family trust of the late Paul Allen, which also owns the Seattle Seahawks.