"Nationwide Arena is a world-class facility that could have the ability, structurally, to house NBA basketball," says Gary O'Brien, director of communication for Columbus Arenas Sports and Entertainment.

Columbus is, no doubt, the dominion of the Ohio State Buckeyes, which long rendered this prospect a pipedream. But the conversation turned in spring 2012 when Mayor Michael B. Coleman tried to persuade the NBA to relocate the then-unstable Sacramento Kings to Nationwide Arena. A grassroots campaign, NBA to Columbus, popped up, soliciting 9,700 supportive votes-including hall-of-famer Magic Johnson's when he was in town in 2013-as well as potential franchise names and logos. (We're still rolling over "Ohio Players," "Butter Cows" and-wait for it-"Christophers".)

The Kings have since found a new owner and are slated to move into a new arena in downtown Sacramento late next year. NBA officials have indicated the league will not expand in the near future, meaning city and county ambassadors must court another franchise away from its home. "Nationwide Arena is a world-class facility that could have the ability, structurally, to house NBA basketball," says Gary O'Brien, director of communication for Columbus Arenas Sports and Entertainment.