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February 5, 2008 5:48 PM

Feeling for Bennett

Posted by Jayda Evans

Got a call today from a guest in Sonics chairman Clay Bennett's suite the night a fan was ejected for calling the Oklahoma-based owner "fat and ugly" and stating that "Clay Bennett sucks!" The woman wanted to offer an alternate view of Bennett, one of a loving father that actually gets hugs from his teenaged son and is very soft-spoken and kind.

I've heard this before. One of the cooler stories I've heard about Bennett was that he gave a bunch of KeyArena employees Omaha Steaks as a Christmas gift last year and he's remembered little tidbits about the people he's crossed paths with. So, there was a little tug at the heart strings when I read the latest article out of the owner's home state.

"The second question [I get asked a lot] is why did you (buy the team?)" Bennett said in the article. "I think a lot about that because this work has consumed my life with all the travel and the effort.
"I love the work, but with the travel (I) miss my family and there's a lot of other things I could be doing."

In a way, Bennett can't lose no matter what he says. His negative comments about Seattle could spark this community to act and find a way to give Bennett what he wants and I heard from another source today that Oklahomans are so business savvy, if they want to get something done, it'll be done faster than a dust storm can pass. They did payoff an approximate $90 million dollar debt for the Ford Center in four years.

So, this is probably a grueling time for Bennett and his ownership group. Or am I just getting sappy since Valentine's Day is near?

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