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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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April 15, 2008 2:24 PM

Gregoire and other officials tell NBA to keep Sonics here

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state and local leaders sent a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern today, asking him to stop the Sonics from moving to Oklahoma at least until all the legal issues surrounding the issue can be resolved.

The letter is an attempt to "to express our united support for NBA basketball in Seattle." But Seattle Mayor Greg Nickles didn't sign the letter. It was signed by Gregoire, House Speaker Frank Chopp, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, King County Executive Ron Sims and City Council President Richard Conlin.

The letter says:

Dear Mr. Stern: We respectfully write to express our united support for NBA basketball in Seattle. After more than 40 years in Seattle and one World Championship, we strongly oppose the move of our Seattle Supersonics from the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle is a great basketball town and an incredible market for your product. As a gateway to Asia, Seattle is home to many international companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Boeing. We believe that a decision to move this franchise from our great city, a city with a long and storied history in the NBA, will be a significant setback for the NBA in its move to become an even more recognized sport in the global marketplace. Moreover, we are convinced that the Seattle market is much stronger and more beneficial to the league than the proposed Oklahoma City market or several markets that currently are in the league.

The city of Seattle has a validly enforceable lease with the team and currently is in court to ensure the lease will be fully executed. Recent public disclosures also indicate that the new owners were never, in fact, acting in good faith to keep the team here in Seattle. These factors lead to the very strong conclusion that any move of the team away from Seattle would be a breach of faith with the fans, breach of contract with the previous owners, a violation of the lease with the city and contrary to the league’s stated intentions regarding franchise relocation.

We, therefore, respectfully request that you remove the relocation issue from your agenda until the many complicated legal and financial matters can be worked out. In any event, we ask that relocation be rejected or in the alternative that no decision be made at this time on relocation of our team.

We recognize that these decisions are difficult but we believe Seattle’s significant history in the NBA and its strategic position in the global marketplace are worthy of your serious consideration as you move forward.

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Posted by Publicbulldog

3:06 PM, Apr 15, 2008

How can we avoid the wrath of the unions and the fans at the same time?
We just say there isn't enough time to do a deal,then we wite a letter saying we want the sonics.


Posted by Mark

6:30 PM, Apr 15, 2008

Gee, where was the support during the past couple of legislative sessions?

Posted by Mike B

8:46 PM, Apr 15, 2008

When the Balmer group tried to come to the rescue Christine Gregoire said "The Sonics are not for sale. Clay Bennett has made that clear."

Then she is "shocked" that Clay Bennett lied to all of us.

My first response to that was "Duh!".

Dino Rossi is saying 'How the hell did I lose to her?"

I'm wondering is she is really as naive as she is portraying herself.

Posted by Mike C

9:22 PM, Apr 15, 2008

Give me a break, Frank Chopp signed this letter. Gregoire and Sims are bad enough but Chopp takes the cake. Chopp was the biggest obsticle in the whole Key arena deal.

Look like you have a bunch of do-nothings who are very worried about their jobs.

Go Dino Rossi!

Posted by upchuck

10:38 PM, Apr 15, 2008

the key arena "deal"??? it was no 'deal', it was a public giveaway to clay bennet. i'm fine with seattle investing in the sonics to benefit our own community but not a give away to clay bennet.

you know, given the amount of this story that's come out so far, i wonder if all the pro-clay bennet subsidy folks on here are paid stooges of his or just absolutely blind to what's going on here...

Posted by Bill

6:37 AM, Apr 16, 2008

Day late and a dollar short---but then coming from the same woman that blew $20+ million in taxpayer money because she missed a filing deadline while AG, this should come as no surprise. It also comes as no surprise that the media won't hold her accountable because she is a) DeMoralizecrat and b) a chick.

Posted by Max

6:46 AM, Apr 16, 2008

Like anyone really believes that Frank Chopp and Lisa Brown are for keeping the Sonics in Washington or even Seattle. Both have outwardly done everything in their power to tell the Bennett and Stern Team to yank them .. and the sooner the better.

The rest of us can see through the lies and deception of Bennett / Sterns. We can also see through the lies and deception of Chopp / Brown.

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