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fansince'76
07-02-2008, 09:45 PM
SuperSonics, Seattle Reach Last-Minute Settlement

By Tim Booth, AP Sports Writer

Seattle (AP) — The SuperSonics will move to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season as part of a settlement with the city of Seattle, ending a contentious relationship that resulted in a trial in which the judge was due to issue her ruling Wednesday.

The settlement calls for Sonics owner Clay Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club LLC to pay up to $75 million to the city in exchange for the immediate termination of the KeyArena lease between the NBA team and the city.

The team’s name and colors will be staying in Seattle.

“We made it,” Bennett said after stepping to an Oklahoma City podium featuring the NBA logo and the letters OKC. “The NBA will be in Oklahoma City next season.”

Bennett said the move would start Thursday and the first focus would be on the SuperSonics’ players.

Bennett announced that the settlement calls for a payment of $45 million immediately, and would include another $30 million paid to Seattle in 2013 if the state Legislature in Washington authorizes at least $75 million in public funding to renovate KeyArena by the end of 2009 and Seattle doesn’t obtain an NBA franchise of its own within the next five years.

“We understand that city, county, and state officials are currently discussing a plan to substantially rebuild KeyArena for the sum of $300 million,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “If this funding were authorized, we believe KeyArena could properly be renovated into a facility that meets NBA standards relating to revenue generation, fan amenities, team facilities, and the like.”

Bennett said he and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels signed a binding agreement Wednesday, which would be formalized later, that keeps the SuperSonics’ name, logo and colors available if Seattle gets a replacement franchise.

“We have 30 million reasons why we have support for a future NBA team,” Seattle city attorney Tom Carr said.

In April, the NBA Board of Governors approved Bennett’s application to move the team to Oklahoma City, pending the outcome of the trial between the team and the city. The settlement came six days after the trial concluded.

It doesn’t cover a pending lawsuit filed by Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz, who is seeking to regain control of the team he sold to Bennett in 2006 for $350 million. Schultz claims that Bennett didn’t follow through on an agreement to negotiate in good faith for a new arena in Seattle for one full year before seeking relocation options.

The trial was centered on the lease agreement between the city and the team that called for the Sonics to play at KeyArena through the 2009-10 season.

Sonics lead attorney Brad Keller contended that Bennett should simply be able to write a check to satisfy the final two years of the lease. Keller argued that the “specific performance” clause the city rested its case on should not apply in a garden-variety dispute between tenant and landlord.

Bennett and his ownership group previously offered to pay the city $26.5 million in February to buy out the final two years of the lease. They were rebuffed.

AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

Sonics Moving to OKC (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-supersonics-seattletrial&prov=ap&type=lgns)

TackleMeBen
07-02-2008, 09:52 PM
it was only a matter of time before he got that team moved. but to oklahoma city????? what is really in oklahoma that anyone wants to see..lol

lilyoder6
07-02-2008, 10:11 PM
now all the players got 2 leave and sell there homes... so basically the fans and players are getting screwed.. i wonder what the colors/logo and name is

TackleMeBen
07-02-2008, 10:13 PM
now all the players got 2 leave and sell there homes... so basically the fans and players are getting screwed.. i wonder what the colors/logo and name is
well its oklahoma that should tell you something... :sofunny:

revefsreleets
07-03-2008, 08:44 AM
It'll be cheaper COL for the players. This will be another one of those weird "names that don't match", like (Minnesota) LA Lakers and (New Orleans) Utah Jazz...

fansince'76
07-03-2008, 10:36 AM
This will be another one of those weird "names that don't match", like (Minnesota) LA Lakers and (New Orleans) Utah Jazz...

Or like the "Memphis Grizzlies," which made a hell of a lot more sense when the team was in Canada where there actually are grizzlies. :dang: This might not be one of those cases as part of the agreement is that the city of Seattle will retain the team name and colors.

TackleMeBen
07-03-2008, 10:41 AM
i have a few ideas for a new name...
1. the oklahoma city waving wheat
2. the oklahoma city tornados

stlrtruck
07-03-2008, 11:11 AM
How about...The Oklahoma It Don't Matters Cuz Ain't No One Watching Us Here

millwalldavey
07-03-2008, 01:40 PM
Or like the "Memphis Grizzlies," which made a hell of a lot more sense when the team was in Canada where there actually are grizzlies. :dang: This might not be one of those cases as part of the agreement is that the city of Seattle will retain the team name and colors.

Memphis had a World Football League team in the 70's called the Grizzlies. Strangely enough they had a Charlotte Hornets as well.

TackleMeBen
07-03-2008, 02:00 PM
How about...The Oklahoma It Don't Matters Cuz Ain't No One Watching Us Here
:rofl::rofl: that is great.. there is nothing in oklahoma..lol

Hawk Believer
07-03-2008, 06:43 PM
Word is that OKC's possible names would be the Barons or the Thunder. I can't imagine they would go with Barons since most people would probably think of Robber Barons instead of Oil Barons given the circumstances.

revefsreleets
07-03-2008, 06:48 PM
How about the Oklahoma City Bombers?

OK, I know...boo and in very poor taste, but, hell, let's face it, 90% of the country knows only that about OKC.

fansince'76
07-03-2008, 06:58 PM
How about the Oklahoma City Bombers?

OK, I know...boo and in very poor taste, but, hell, let's face it, 90% of the country knows only that about OKC.

Don't think that's going to fly in a league that changed a team's name from the "Bullets" to the"Wizards" due to the prevalence of gun violence in said team's city.

warddj86
07-03-2008, 08:59 PM
sux for seattle

warddj86
07-03-2008, 09:03 PM
How about OKLAHOMA CITY...


Bulldogs
Marauders
Generals

Steelman16
07-03-2008, 09:36 PM
Woot! We get a team. lol

I think it'll end up being the Thunder...even though I hate that name for an NBA team. I wanted Outlaws. lol

TackleMeBen
07-04-2008, 12:45 PM
i like the tornados.. bc that is usually where they hit. besides college football what is in oklahoma????

BettisFan
07-04-2008, 04:38 PM
Moving from the 14th biggest market to the 40 something biggest market will not help the NBA at all but hurt it.

Dodt
07-04-2008, 05:02 PM
wow now they have something to do besides watching paint dry
.

SteelCityMan786
07-04-2008, 05:43 PM
it was only a matter of time before he got that team moved. but to oklahoma city????? what is really in oklahoma that anyone wants to see..lol

The only real reason they even moved there is because of the fact that Clay Bennett is from Oklahoma City. I think it's pathetic. The NBA should not have allowed the move. Though I believe if they are as well taken as OK City took in the Hornets for the few games they had there, it will work.

BettisFan
07-04-2008, 06:01 PM
I am sorry for those true seattle fans

Galax Steeler
07-05-2008, 08:20 AM
I have to say I have been a sonic fan for a very long time but I probably won't pull for them when they move it just won't be the same.

Hawk Believer
07-05-2008, 11:21 AM
The only real reason they even moved there is because of the fact that Clay Bennett is from Oklahoma City. I think it's pathetic. The NBA should not have allowed the move. Though I believe if they are as well taken as OK City took in the Hornets for the few games they had there, it will work.

Clay Bennet is a villain in all of this for sure. He and his other owners had continually lied about their intent to try to keep the Sonics in Seattle when they purchased it. E-mails and interviews have shown that Bennet has no integrity when it comes to the truth. Bennet made a proposal for a half billion dollar arena that the tax payers would pay for and he would get most of the revenue from. That was his good faith effort to keep the team. But it was naive for people to think that the OK owners weren't going to try to move the team.

Howard Schultz (the guy who brought you Starbucks and used to own the Sonics) is also a big villain because he sold the Sonics to out of town ownership. He had wanted a new arean and revenue sharing deal for years but the state and local government had no interest. We had paid for a refurb to the Key Arena in the 90s (along with a new football and baseball stadium) and people didn't want to spend more taxpayer money on the Key when we have roads that need to be built and bridges that will fall over or sink in a big eathquake. So Schultz decided that the only way to mobilize the taxpayers to build a new arena would be to sell to out of town owners who could move the team. Bad idea. Now, after Bennet made no effort to keep the team. Schultz's local image is damaged. Schultz is now sueing Bennet for breach of contract, saying he violated the stipulation of the sale that demanded Bennet make a good fath effort to keep the team in Seattle. Should be interesting to see what happens with that. There is plenty of evidence from Bennet's emails and the other owners that they never intended to stay in Seattle. So there is a good chance that Schultz could win some money from Bennet in such a suit. But Schultz doesn't want money, he wants the team back. While that could happen in theory, such a verdict would be unprecedented in American law.

Commisioner David Stern is another person to blame. He has been a total lap dog for Bennett. Stern orginally said in the mid 90s that the Key Arena was one of the best venues in the league. Then, when the Scultz was grumbling about his revenue contract (that Stern approved back in the 90s), Stern started saying the the Key Arena needed to be remodeled again for the NBA to stay. Then, a year later, when Bennett bought the team, Stern reversed himself and said that the Key Arena could not be remodeled and work for the NBA; and totally new arena would need to be built per Bennett's specifications. Stern and Bennett have a bit of a Brokeback relationship. Some of the emails that have come out between them are really funny. When Bennett's ownership group got caught saying that they never had any intentio of keeping the team in Seattle, Bennett wrote this long love letter to Stern extolling how much he respected Stern and how he was Bennett's "favortite person in the world" and that he was worried that teh owner's getting caught in a lie was going to hurt their relationship. It didn't obviously.

The localk and state govenment also are to blame as well. It turns out that, once the departure of the team was immmenant, the city government did come up with a plan to throw 75 million at a Key arena refurb and was asking the State for 75 million more. A local group lead by Steve Ballmer (head of Microsoft) would have spent whatever else it took redo the Key if they could buy the Sonics. Had this effort been made 3 years ago or earlier, Schultz never would have sold the team ot out of towners and we would still have an NBA team.

Lots of blame to go around. Bennett and Stern sure end up looking the sleaziest though.

tony hipchest
07-11-2008, 11:17 AM
so whadaya think HB? you still gonna follow/root for the team once its in OKC? i kinda feel obligated since that now theres no supersonics i dont really have an actual team to root for, or a team i would actually stick with through thick and thin.

even after shawn kemp, gary payton, kendall gill, detlef schrempf, nate mcmillan and big smooth perkins, and the fiasco named mclivane, i stuck with them.

i guess i will pull for the guys now (not necessarilly the city or jersey) until the seattle gets their team back.

Hawk Believer
07-11-2008, 12:10 PM
Its gonna be pretty hard for me to root for that team now given the circumstances. I know its petty of me, but I would be open to experienceing a bit of schadenfreude over the next couple years. Right now I am not so high on the NBA in general. I have been gravitating toward the college game quite a bit over the last decade or so. Its just hard for me to support anything associated with Stern or Bennet right now. I guess I could pull for the Trailblazers. I have a ton of respesct for Nate McMillan. But they are supposed to be my team's rivals.... Course I don't have a team now.