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April 18, 2008 1:45 PM

NBA Board of Governors approve Sonics move 28-2

Posted by Percy Allen

By a vote of 28-2, the NBA Board of Governors today endorsed the recommendation of the NBA Relocation Committee and approved the move of the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season, subject to a resolution of the pending litigation between the Sonics and the city of Seattle that removes any requirement for the team to play at KeyArena for the next two seasons.

The Sonics must pay a $30 million relocation fee.

Commissioner David Stern addressed the media and encouraged the city of Seattle and the Sonics to resolve their legal matters with a financial settlement. Stern had his talking points. He reitterated several times that Sonics current and past ownerships have made four unsuccessful attempts to solve the team's arena problems.

He said the despite the e-mails released by the city last week in which members of the Oklahoma City-based ownership group talk about moving the team there, Stern believes team chairman Clayton Bennett operated in good faith.

Bennett was also very emotional on this topic. He said his comments were misconstrued. When he wrote "I'm a man possessed," Bennett said he was referring to finding an arena solution in Seattle.

He admitted that co-owners Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward want a team in Oklahoma City, but was told that it would not be the Sonics.

Bennet said that his emotions were mixed because he's "disappointed we couldn't make it work in Seattle" and "I'm very happy for the people in Oklahoma."

Bennett would like to keep the Sonics name, history in logo in Seattle and begin a new history in the Sooner State.

Here's Governor's Christine Gregoire's response to the relocation.

And read Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell's both issued a response.

"I'm disappointed that NBA leadership has ignored calls for good-faith efforts to keep the Sonics in Seattle and rewarded the bad-faith behavior of Clay Bennett and his ownership group," said Senator Murray. "Violating the public's trust with empty promises is unacceptable, and the NBA's decision today sets a poor precedent."

"For decades the Sonics have been part of the Seattle community and its culture," said Senator Cantwell. "As an avid sports fan, I'm dismayed to see the NBA rewarding such unsportsmanlike conduct. The Sonics ownership misrepresented their true intentions to the community and yet the NBA gives them a bonus for this bad-faith effort."

***UPDATE 7:42 P.M.*** There was a question below about the 28-2 vote. Well, Bennett was able to vote and obviously he voted for the move. The dissenting votes were cast by Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

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Posted by scottM

2:33 PM, Apr 18, 2008

What this blog needs is "principled conversation." You know, the kind that Clay Bennett says needs to happen with the City of Seattle. You know, the kind that took place a year ago when his good ol' boy buddies e-mailed him with their ten gallon congratulations, and he responded by assuring them that he was "a man possessed."

Oh, wait, he claims he was talkin' about keeping the team in Seattle and not poaching it to OK City.

Mama never told me there was such a thing as a "principled liar."

Ooops, wrong blog. ;=)

Posted by J. Beard

3:13 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Give Clay Bennett a break. He's had to deal with the most indecisive knuckleheads in the country. i.e Gregoire, Olympia, Nickels. etc. Total idiots. Blame Howard Schultz if anyone. Quit crying about something that could have been solved a long, long time ago. Seattle DOES NOT deserve an NBA team at the moment. Get your s*** together Seattle.

Posted by Dopey Dave and Bozo Bennett

3:43 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Yo J Beard, Al Davis has a job for you.

We'll see how "happy" Okl City is when they wait 2 more years. Bennett and co are going to move the team, but there is going to be more financial pain and struggle involved.

How could the vote be 28-2 if Bennet was going to abstain from voting?????

Some owner please show Stern the door! This idiot is killing your product, first with looking over the other shoulder during the ref scandel and now this.

Posted by 206er

3:54 PM, Apr 18, 2008

this is very sad. but it was expected. the trial in june is the big thing. listened to the press conference with stern & bennett. percy, i loved when you asked stern "what exactly is the problem with key arena?" and he busted out the footprint argument. i was just hoping you would follow that up with the fact that the main objective of the $300 million renovation would be to double the footprint, bringing it up to the nba average. perhaps this would have been out of line, but it frustrates me that stern refuses to acknowledge that these grievences with the key can be fixed with a renovation.

Posted by Trevor Smith

4:05 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I AM NEVER WATCHING ANOTHER NBA GAME IN MY LIFE..... WE ALL SHOULD BOYCOTT THE NBA...

Posted by Mike B

4:33 PM, Apr 18, 2008

The things is...

THE ARENA PROBLEM WAS SOLVED BY THE SONICS IN 1995!!

The Ackerly's (remember them) held the city hostage for a $95 million remodel of the Seattle Center Coliseum (that was before the Sonics sold the naming rights to Key Bank) and they got the remodel to their specifications, including a layout that would preclude the NHL from being able to use Key Arena.

The Sonics were first to the trough, before the Mariners or the Seahawks.

Howard Schultz knew that when he bought the team. And then... less than 10 years after the Key Arena remodel Howie was back for more.

Lets get our history straight before we say that we had several chances and blew it.

We've had a succession of millionaires or even billionaires try and hold us up.

Posted by BP

5:03 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I am blown away that people continue to talk about the Politicians could have done this, or the people of Seattle could have done that... Bennett NEVER INTENDED TO KEEP THE TEAM IN SEATTLE. From day one, we could have built him his half billion dollar palace and he would have tried to get out of town because he wasn't getting enough of the parking revenue.

I also can't blame Schultz at this point. None of us truly know what in the contract that sold the team to Bennett. I have to believe based off the fact that Schultz knows better than anybody what is in that contract and is suing over it that there are clauses holding Bennett to good faith objectives that haven't been met. Which would also that he like most of us might not have trusted Bennett but he also knew that Bennett contractually had to abide by the deal. Which would be why he kept his mouth shut this whole time and took the scorn of most of us myself included. Let's stick together hang tight and see what comes out of the court case. If Schultz was smart enough to have his words match is intentions we may still have a basketball team.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

5:16 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Mike B:

Exactly...finally someone brought up the Ackerley forced remodel...that was only 10 years ago!

Why did they go spend (throw away) $95 MILLION 10 years ago, for a temporary fix. Preseent value of that money is probably around 150M. They could have build a whole new arena for $200M back then and we wouldn't have been in this mess. Poor, poor, poor city planning...

I understand the economic in-flux a professional team brings to a city, but I get a really bad feeling over the continual strong arm position professional sports are holding over cities in getting fully publically-financed arenas.

Stern is clearly trying to set a precedent to current NBA cities on requiring a first class public arena fully (or mostly) publically funded. I don't like it...

I can't believe what both Stern and Bennett said today...how did they keep a straight face??? Both are lying through their teeth.

Here's the PERFECT SCENARIO:
Court upholds the lease, with no buyout option. TV and radio don't offer a contract to cover their games...(is this possible, in any way???) None of the city supports the team next year...and BENNETT ET. AL., are stuck looking at a 150M (est.) loss over the next two years. They say "screw it" and sell the team back to SEATTLE COMMUNITY MEMBERS...ONES THAT ARE TIED TO THE CITY.
Think about it...that would be a great win of the people over the STERN-B-A.

Posted by Mike B

5:20 PM, Apr 18, 2008

When the Mariners were sold to Jeff Smulyan (that goes a ways back!) the owners put a provision in that local owners must be sought for a period of 90 days (I think) before he could seek to move the team.

Schultz COULD have done that, but then Bennett would have paid less for the team. Schultz chose the money over any loyalty to Seattle and now he is trying to save face (and business for Starbucks).

Posted by dc

5:33 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Clay Bennett can go to hell.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

5:36 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Mike B:

You gotta already know this, but there was a good faith provision...the 90 day thing would have been just as flimsy, maybe even more...all he would have to do is wait 90 days.

But yes, I agree that Shultz's main concern is saving face in coffee-town USA...can you imagine if there was animosity against Starbucks in Seattle?!?! Is Tulley's publically traded???

From the beginning (since that partner mouthed off about never intending to keep the Sonics in Seattle), I've argued that the Shultz sale should be null and void. But courts will have a VERY tough time (1) defining "good faith effort"; (2) identifying the intent (or implied thought) behind the emails from Bennett et al. and (3) backing out the sale from Shultz to the Bennett group.

The biggest hope we have is the court upholding the lease (its happened before) and Bennett saying "forget it" we'll go find another team (or go the expansion route). If the team is forced to stay 2 more years...we have to make it looks like it's going to be the worse two years of Bennett's life...then they will sell.

Posted by Mike B

5:51 PM, Apr 18, 2008

DAWGONE:

The only confidence I have in the side deal is that one report said the deal commits Bennett to keeping the Sonics in Seattle through the end of the lease.

As they say in the serials... stay tuned!

Posted by Gordie

8:39 PM, Apr 18, 2008

The vote isn't shocking, since the owners will naturally want the ability to move their own teams away scott free if the time ever comes for them.

Now you have to wonder what kind of wrath David Stern will bring to the two dissenting votes for going against his BBF Clay.

Posted by Jason

8:46 PM, Apr 18, 2008

my only hope is that the city of Seattle wins the trial forcing the Sonics to have to play in front of an empty arena for the next two years. Nothing would please me more than to watch Bennett and his group bleed money from every oriface from their bodies. I feel bad for the players to have to ride through this, but such is life in the NBA........

Hopefully this means I don't fall prey to becoming a Blazer fan!!!!!

Posted by Jay

8:51 PM, Apr 18, 2008

All of you are a bunch of idiots, even your coffee boy lost 60 million dollars in 5 years he owned them. The Key arena lease deal is the laughing stock of the NBA. Your team is gone, each one of the people in group who owns the sonics are worth over 4 billion dollars apiece. Threatening to try to exact revenge to keep them there is not going to work. They will take the losses, hell, they would take losses even if they didn't decide to move the team. Face, you guys lose, and if you shut your mouth now, maybe you can get a team in the future.

Posted by Jay

8:53 PM, Apr 18, 2008

All of you are a bunch of idiots, even your coffee boy lost 60 million dollars in 5 years he owned them. The Key arena lease deal is the laughing stock of the NBA. Your team is gone, each one of the people in group who owns the sonics are worth over 4 billion dollars apiece. Threatening to try to exact revenge to keep them there is not going to work. They will take the losses, hell, they would take losses even if they didn't decide to move the team. Face, you guys lose, and if you shut your mouth now, maybe you can get a team in the future.

Posted by Jay

8:54 PM, Apr 18, 2008

All of you are a bunch of idiots, even your coffee boy lost 60 million dollars in 5 years he owned them. The Key arena lease deal is the laughing stock of the NBA. Your team is gone, each one of the people in group who owns the sonics are worth over 4 billion dollars apiece. Threatening to try to exact revenge to keep them there is not going to work. They will take the losses, hell, they would take losses even if they didn't decide to move the team. Face, you guys lose, and if you shut your mouth now, maybe you can get a team in the future.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

9:05 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Jay:

Eat crap and die...

Jay:

Eat crap and die...

Jay:

Eat crap and die...

You idnorant fool...
This will be drawn out in court...
The mega wealthy in Seattle are already coming together...
Don't you watch the news? (or does your trailer only get local)...
The national media is against this deal...
Bad publicity for the NBA the longer this goes... Sonics aren't going anywhere anytime soon...
That leaves a lot of time, for a lot to happen...

(Now for a mini-rant, because I'm in a good mood:)We've been through this before...so even if the buses are packed and arrive in your little poe-dunk town...don't wave the welcome flag yet...we've seen that before and guess what, they are still the SEATTLE Seahawks.

Posted by Jay

9:13 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Wow, didn't know LA is a poe dunk little town and I guess I am confused, I thought they were going to Okc? See, everyone in Seattle is upset, but everyone who is outside of your crappy state knows you guys dropped the ball. You assume that if someone speaks about your team, it means they must be in Oklahoma. No, just read any messages from outside of Washington. No one feels sorry for you, you guys lost them. So sad.

Posted by Eric K

9:59 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Jay,

You might check out the polls on ESPN, every state outaside the OK area agrees with US.

Look we have nothing against OKC, if you guys can get an expansion team great, but keep your hands off our team.

As for the legislature dropping the ball, give me a break, Bennet set things up so they woudl vote against it. 500 million to build a new arena in the middle of the suburbs 45 minutes away from downtown? No restaurants or bars around so he could own all th ebefore and after game business as well? What he wanted was a joke. If he had gone to them a year ago with the proposal Balmer and his group made it would have passed, but he didnt; want that.

Anyone who believes his nonsense about his email meaning he was a man possessed with getting a deal in Seattle is so stupid they shouldnt; be allowed to vote,

Posted by Forgive Jay

10:40 PM, Apr 18, 2008

You'll have to forgive Jay.....He's been waiting for a Rams pre-season game...oops!!! That's right, Jay "let" the Rams leave and then they went to 2 superbowls, winning one of them. How freaking pathetic to have to take crap from a city so lame that even being a #2 market couldn't keep an NFL team. So where is that next NFL team for LA, Jay? That's why Seattle is smart enough to continue to fight, thanks to your fair city's fine example.

Jay, these owner are boobs. Everyone here can see that from their behavior here. Perhaps the smog has clouded your vision.

No matter how much talent they draft, (let's be honest what all-star free agent would play for these dopes?) they will mismanage it. In fact if they do leave Clay and co. are the perfect mascots: The Oklahoma City Boobs!!!

At least the Sonic previous ownership removed bad elements from the team. The Lakers may win, but Kobe will NEVER gain the respect he had before his Colo mis-step. Kobe and the like are part of the problem now w/ the NBA product.

Posted by jro

11:20 PM, Apr 18, 2008

An open letter about this fiasco:

It's sad to the see the Sonics leave, but they need to because the NBA is flawed at this point. There's a reason the NBA has voted to support franchise relocation for the third time in 10 years, while the MLB and NFL haven't needed to -- because the economics are palatable. In case anyone hasn't noticed, the situation hasn't worked for the NBA and the economics are not improving.

Now, a few parting words:

Mr. Stern, you're nothing more than a lackey for 30 businessmen. I find it staggering to say that Bud Selig is more profoundly capable than you of managing a professional sports league, and he's terrible. Seriously, when you're tenure is over, you'll be remembered as the guy who drove the NBA in the ground after having Michael, Magic and Larry put it on a string for you. History will not be kind to you, sir.

Mr. Bennett, you won't get any venom from me. As the owner of the team, I believe you have both a right to do what you wish with the team, as well as civic duties because of the nature of the business. So, do as you will. That said, I believe you to be a dishonest person and that karma will knock on your door one day.

Mr. Nickels - seriously, what is it you do again?
Mr. Sims - seriously, what is it you do again?

Ms. Gregoire - talking and doing absolutely nothing will haunt you in November. You've almost single-handedly made a chunk of the population "single issue" voters. In this town, that's an accomplishment.

Mr. Schultz - I know you had a "bum" deal prior to selling the team, and selling to the out-of-town guy may have been your only option. It was a bet that also included the chance for being seen as the "local guy who sent the team packing", and you lost that bet. Best of luck with your lawsuit, which I see as really nothing more than an effort to not be blamed as "the local guy who sent the team packing."

Life-long Sonic fans: I feel for your loss. This really sucks. A terrible lesson to be teaching our kids about putting your faith into institutions. These organizations don't deserve our loyalty.

The new OKC fans: congrats, and enjoy it while you can. Be sure to talk to the folks in Charlotte and New Orleans about basketball economics to get unbiased opinions. Many of the stories coming out of Oklahoma make the situation sound as if it's a contest of civic "pride". After spending $100-$150 a game (minimum) for 41 games a year, you might find your pride smarting a little bit. When the team still loses, and your ownership then asks you for more taxes later on because the barcalounger in their suite needs re-upholstered and they want a new parking garage for their corporate friends, it starts to wear on you a bit.

To the Sonics players, coaches, team: thanks for the memories.

Posted by jr

11:20 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Everybody knew that the nba owerns were going to vote for the relocation of the sonics.We as fan have to stay strong and don't give up hope that this team and history well remain in the place where it belong..right here in seattle.SAVE OUR SONICS

Posted by lovemysupes

11:23 PM, Apr 18, 2008

My sonics or nothing.

Here is an idea for legislation:
If the NBA leaves how about a law that won't let them back into our lucrative market unless they pay for a brand new arena and a substantial city loyalty tax.

Also this is the west, isn't a little frontier justice in order? Somebody break out the tar and feathers and lets ride these guys out of town on a rail.

Posted by Gordie

1:46 AM, Apr 19, 2008

Funny how David Stern was all for KeyArena renovation when Howard Schultz was asking for it a couple years ago, but now that his BFF Clay Bennett has the team, the arena all-of-a-sudden sucks. Until Stern recently brought up the whole "footprint" excuse, they had no answer for why KeyArena was bad, when the truth everyone knows is that for them the worst thing about KeyArena is that it's not in Oklahoma City.

I'm sure the bed Clay and David are sharing tonight will be warm.

Posted by Goose

8:47 AM, Apr 19, 2008

Forget the NBA. It's time another league was born. Not only is the business of the NBA broken but the game itself has become pro wrestling with a ball. It's time to recreate the game of beauty and grace in cities that the NBA deems 'not good enough'. Get a little creative. Make the floor bigger to accentuate pace and skill and speed over size and strength. 4 on the floor to open the game up or 6'6" and under only. Hey Ballmer! Don't buy a team! Create a league! If the Sonics leave I wouldn't put another dime into NBA coffers.

Posted by not pleased

9:21 AM, Apr 19, 2008

So you think it is bad to lose the Sonics? Just think of having to live in Oklahoma. the great poeople of Seattle has it made!

Posted by Michael

9:30 AM, Apr 19, 2008

We only have one person to blame and that is Christine Gregoire. Everyone can say that Schultz sold the team to out of town owners, but the City of Seattle wasn't willing to renegotiate the lease on KeyArena when he was owner. Had they been willing to do something, maybe it wouldn't have come to this.

If state legislators would've just approved to extend the taxes for $75M, it would've given the BOG something to think about with an arena plan and owner in place. Without something concrete, but just a written letter, what did anyone really expect to happen? Gregoire could've called a special session, but she did NOTHING!

Posted by Dr. J

9:36 AM, Apr 19, 2008

I concur with many of the other comments posted here by Sonics fans and Seattle residence. It appears there is greater consensus among Seattleites about the Sonics situation than most other local current affairs.

I’ve been an NBA basketball fan since I was 9 years old (I’m now 41), but the NBA lost my business around 8 years ago. I have many long time avid “basketball friends” who previously held season tickets for decades (Blazers or Sonics) who share my sentiment about the state of the NBA and have disengaged from it.

The NBA is an immoral free enterprise in decline and while I’m not a fan of Washington State or Seattle politicians, I’m very glad our local government did not cave into providing welfare to billionaires – doing so is a form of economic fascism. As a business owner, I laugh when NBA owners (and David Stern) blame arena leases on their financial problems. Last I looked, team employees (the players) aren’t in the poor house and most businesses trim payroll to balance the budget.

To my fellow Sonics fans, my suggestion at this point in the NBA debacle is to channel our enthusiasm for basketball and our entertainment dollars into to Husky basketball games. If Hec Ed can’t accommodate us all, Key Arena in its current state would be fine with me.

Posted by Pokenour

10:25 AM, Apr 19, 2008

Clay Bennett and David Stern are at it again spinning the truth into a web of lies and deception to save their legal behinds. Bennett is now saying that when he said he was a "demon possessed," he was passionately making his "good faith" effort to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Now tell me again, the moon is made of cheese. Seriously, however, this is the line of Stern's defense of Bennett on Friday when the NBA owners voted to move the team. Stern, the lawyer he is, coached his best buddy creating a sham of plausible denial concerning his email remarks revealing designs to move the team from the get go. Lies up lies equate to a quantum fiction that bears no semblance of truth. In a world of plausible denial, we are told to ignore the context - where in Bennett was conversing with his partners who directly referenced an intended and desired move to OKC as soon as possible - and accept Bennett's word he was "possessed" to keep the Sonics in Seattle despite the fact he lives and has all his interests in OKC. While Stern seemed to invent this nonsense the day before, no intelligent person can begin to believe another of Clay's lies, to do is to accept fiction run amok in masquerading as truth. Might a jury's intelligence quotient be that low in Seattle? OKC maybe, but not likely in Seattle.

Some have suggested that the city and others drop the law suits and move to talks to salvage a compromise from the NBA. While it is a good idea to continue negotiations, it surely is a mistake to drop the suits as they are the primary leverage to make the NBA deal. It maybe that the original Sonics are lost, but an expansion Sonics with all history, etc. can be obtained given enough leverage to move David Stern and his comrades. Stern, however, is not interested in the truth but he is a pedlar of fiction for the purpose of extorting a new basketball palace from Seattle and the state. He and Bennett have always continued to bad mouth the Key and as Clay said today, the Seattle arena "doesn't meet NBA standards" and to their mind even with the $300 million remake.

All along Bennett and Stern have been in bed together with the intent to extort a new arena in Seattle and get OKC a new team, ala Chalottte and New Orleans, which were each extorted for new basketball palaces. While I have loved the Sonics since the day they were announced as an expansion team in my first year in Seattle, I am proud of Seattle and Washington State to have stood up to these scoundrels and denied their mob like extortion moves.

The city, state and local government need to continue to fight this extortion and stop the move of a treasure Seattle heritage that is the Sonics. They should use every legal means at their disposal to halt this theft of a state and local heritage. In addition to the current law suit, why not get creative with the law call upon historic and cultural preservation laws as well as challenge these scoundrels with prosecution of their crimes? First, use local and state laws to declare the Sonics to be a property of significant cultural and heritage value. The Sonics are the city's and region's first major professional sports franchise, which has been a treasured heritage for over forty years. Once even the Duke - John Wayne playing a cop in Seattle - confronted a bad guy with some basketball tickets saying "Wanna see some basketball?" in a film scene referencing the Sonics under the viaduct. The point is the team has a treasured heritage status in Seattle and the region will be culturally poorer with the team's departure. There are legal means to designate cultural heritage protection via the power of the local and state government, why not use them? Designate the Sonics to be a cultural and historical property deemed protected by state and local law. Afterwards, if Stern and Bennett do not listen to reason, use the state and local powers of eminent domain to seize the team from the scoundrels.

In a second creative legal scenario, acknowledge and recognize the scam that Stern and Bennett have played on the city and state. Here I am referring to extortion, like that of the mob. Stern and Bennett have had this strong arm approach in process from the beginning with this malfeasance. So why not prosecute them under statutes that prevent extortion? Direct the state and local prosecutor's to go at Stern, Bennett and Company for their attempts to extort state and local government.

Although both Stern and Bennett are now fabricating lies to spin the truth of their intentions, these latest deceits are born of their fear of the city's and Schultz's law suits. Schultz's law suit is very important because it may pave the way to explode anti-trust protections given the NBA. As it progresses, it will surely offer new discovery that will expose the extortion scheme worked by Stern with Bennett's cooperation. Lets hold these scoundrels to the fire with every legal means possible.

Save our Sonics!

Posted by Pokenour

11:23 AM, Apr 19, 2008


While I am firmly behind the ideas that I put forward to save the Sonics by every legal means possible - heritage protection and criminal prosecution - there is a lighter side to the NBA vote. Before making the promised lighter suggestion, however, we should all stay firm in support of the city's and Schultz's law suits with the conviction that the team is not gone yet and there will be a continuing fight to prevent the Sonics departure.

Back in 1966 or so, I remember Senators Warren Magneson and Henry Jackson discussing the announcement of the Seattle Supersonics NBA franchise. Magneson quipped that he had tried to built one - an SST - and Jackson was the Senator from Boeing brimming with support for Seattle's first professional sports franchise. It was a festive night as the Supersonics were born in Seattle, with fun and humor. Today someone suggested naming the Clay's stolen team, the OKC Boobs, lol. It was a pleasant diversion as I read the angry blogs, although I agreed with most all of the comments, i nonetheless enjoy a laugh - OKC Boobs. You know as I look at Clay's face in todays paper, he reminds me a bit of that Oklahoma State University Cowboy mascot with it grotesque head and face. Clay just needs a mustache, chaps, six shooters and a ten gallon hat. OK there is also need for a lariat, for him to toss around. Or maybe, he strikes you a little bit like the Daniel Day Lewis oil man character in "There will be Blood," in such case of giving up his child for oil wells. At any rate, there are plenty of images to associate with our OKC scoundrels - hey, maybe that's a good name for his franchise. And how about a little toilet bowl brown with yellow for the team colors in OKC?

So on the light side, anyone ready for an OKC NBA team naming contest?

Posted by shut up Bennett

11:44 AM, Apr 19, 2008

Okay, it Bennett just a pathological liar or something? Does he honestly believe folks are going to buy his B.S. about being a "man possessed" to keep the Sonics in Seattle. My gosh. Look at the context next to the emails before and after. Look at Mcclendon's (sp?) quote in the paper. What an absolute lying pile of steaming sh-t! Does this person even have a soul? Does he even understand what the truth is anymore? I just can't believe that he gets away with just standing up in front of a microphone and then just tells lie after lie. He's a scumbag. He's a liar. What will he say next? Up is down? Right is left? Black is white? This guy is a souless pile of scum. Does he not at least feel some twinge of guilt when he is up there lying his a$$ off, or is he such a souless ghoul that lying doesn't even phase him? Gosh what a horrible human being. Stern and Bennett deserve one way tickets to hell. They can sit there and swap their lies for etenity if there is any justice in this world.

Posted by Pokenour

12:02 PM, Apr 19, 2008

With this latest post at 11:43 AM and its sentiments - to which I find considerable agreement - there are several potentials nickname mascot identities for Clay Bennett's OKC NBA team. How about the OKC "Deamons," or "Scumbags" - "Scums" - for short, or my personal favorite - "Souless Sh*ts." Presenting the OKC "SS" coming to Ford Arena to fleece the town and stink up the city for the short time it is there. Remember OKC, Stern needs candidate teams to locate in Europe and Asia in coming seasons. Your short term gain is bound for Paris next or is that nickname better suited somewhere else? Bye - bye OKC.

In truth, lets get the Scoundrels with legal punishment for their malfeasance --blast away at the NBA's anti-trust exemption and charge Stern and Bennett, et al with extortion.

Posted by Pokenour

12:12 PM, Apr 19, 2008

PS

The movie that I was referring to in my 10:25 AM post is called "McQ" - rent it and watch the Duke throw down some Sonics tickets under the viaduct - it was the first Seattle pro sports reference in cinema.

Posted by D Mars

12:19 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Wake up and smell the coffee Seattle. I'm happy to see the Sonics come to Oklahoma City. The facts surrounding this issue prove that when you take a great team (like the Sonics) for granted - and fail to meet their needs for an updated NBA worthy facility, there's always going to be a more suitable (and far more hospitable) city that (with its citizens enthusiastic support) is ready to take on the challenge.

We may not be the 'world class' city by the water with an iconic monument towering over coffee houses and cute little boutiques on every corner, but we're a world class mid-western town because we have long seen the need for growth.

Oklahoma is a centrally located (and ultra sophisticated) state with one of the nation’s leading health sciences centers, our cost of living is far less than the rest of the country (because our citizens wouldn't have it any other way) and you get a lot more for your money. Years ago, our community came together to support a plan to rebuild all of our public schools to meet 21st century comfort, aesthetics, and technological demands and placed good teachers in to move this along. We continue to be leaders in petroleum research and exploration, our crime rate is relatively low, and we enjoy many days of sunshine and a host of recreational activities and natural resources.

We welcome the Sonics to our city for several reasons. They need our unwavering support and we need their presence. We are tired of being casted as an outdated cowboys and indians state. We celebrate our western heritage - just like Seattle celebrates its maritime and woodsman heritage, but the time has come that the world sees Oklahoma as it is - a world class and diverse community of people ready for positive changes!

Perhaps, If Seattle had taken the time to put down their lattes and unplugged from their iPod’s for a moment, they probably would have spent more time ensuring that the Sonics stayed in Seattle. You guys are no strangers to protest and you had an opportunity to vote to let your voice be heard. Oh well, you can't cry over spilled milk - in your case 'non-fat creamer'.

Posted by Pokenour

12:36 PM, Apr 19, 2008


Forget the non-fat creamer, OKC already has a big fat turd for a mascot. Go Clay! You are a man possessed.

Posted by Cousin Clam

1:26 PM, Apr 19, 2008

After listening to Stern and Bennett, I reached for my
white porcelin pony and started to decorate it.. I am
a sports fan and will always support my local teams,
but when we were held to the demand of funding a 500M
project.. FOR ONE TEAM ? That's when I said enough is
enough........And to have Stern hold that over our
head during a time like this only tells me one thing..
Good ridance..

I'd rather enjoy outdoor sports like the Seahawks,
Sounders, and to some extent the Mariners, Aquasox,
Rainiers, Huskies FB.. And if need be, Huskies BB, and
the Cougars BB, Fishing.. And WII games with family
and friends..

All this enjoyment and we save 500Million .. So Stern
and Clay-Clay.. You could take the team and move to
OKC Corral..

Best of luck to the OKC fans.. Enjoy it.. Cause after
your "boys" realize they will need a way to recover
350M from their "big boy investment". they will give
you a TEXAS size headache. Raise ticket prices.. Ford
Center is not "world class" so they will demand more
from you..

And to the rest of the NBA teams ?? Stern will use
this against you too, so don't sleep too well.. Other
raiders are out there to bring your team TO THEIR
HOMETOWN..

To the Western Washington politicians.. SEE YOU IN
NOVEMBER... You're not free of blame..

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

1:59 PM, Apr 19, 2008

D MARS:

Wow, thanks for your incredible INSIGHT on (1) not only on what po-dunk USA represents (we get it, your more than six-shooters and ta-ton-ka meat), but also (2) uncovering our past sins of not supporting our sonics and "taking them for granted" (78% attendance during this last season which was, record-wise and with the purchase, moral-wise, the worst season of our history). In addition (3) you highlighted how negligent we were in not giving in to the NBA-led extortion demanding immediate resolution for a new $300M stadium (10 years ago we spent $100M to renovate Key Arena when the NBA/Ackerley's demanded it and next year the state would eventually have come up with an arena deal during the next legislature for our current Sonics). And finally (4) our vast city's history of logging...huh?...have you ever BEEN to Seattle?

"Wake up and smell the coffee Seattle."

Haha, I get it!...wow a coffee reference, now that's CREATIVE!

"I'm happy to see the Sonics come to Oklahoma City."

Well, no sh*t Sherlock.

"The facts surrounding this issue prove that when you take a great team (like the Sonics) for granted - and fail to meet their needs for an updated NBA worthy facility, there's always going to be a more suitable (and far more hospitable) city that (with its citizens enthusiastic support) is ready to take on the challenge."

What surrounding facts are you looking at? See my comments above about the city taking the team for granted and what we have done in the past to create an NBA worthy facility and the short time frame in which our no-overtime legislature had to work with.

And what's with the hospitality comment? Don't even know where that comes from...

"We may not be the 'world class' city by the water with an iconic monument towering over coffee houses and cute little boutiques on every corner, but we're a world class mid-western town because we have long seen the need for growth."

So by mearly recognizing the need for growth, you become world class? Huh? And you've "LONG SEEN the need for growth"? Then what's taken so long?

"Oklahoma is a centrally located (and ultra sophisticated) state with one of the nation’s leading health sciences centers..."

Ahaaaaaahahahahaha! I don't care much for sohistication...it's over-rated...but Oklahoma is an ultra-sophisticated state?...I've read about your pig-farm travesties on our environment and inhumanity to animals...very sophisticated.

"...Our cost of living is far less than the rest of the country (because our citizens wouldn't have it any other way)"

Where did you get your training on economics? So the people of the state have been able to control the cost of living...could you give Bernake a call after your done reading this and let himn know what the secret is? The country will be forever indebted to OK for solving the coming inflation problem.

"and you get a lot more for your money."

Yeah, got it the first time...thanks for explaining what you meant by low cost of living.

"Years ago, our community came together to support a plan to rebuild all of our public schools to meet 21st century comfort, aesthetics, and technological demands and placed good teachers in to move this along. We continue to be leaders in petroleum research and exploration, our crime rate is relatively low, and we enjoy many days of sunshine and a host of recreational activities and natural resources."

Woohoo...OK is a pillar of our country's fine public schooling system. That's like saying, "Look at me! I'm the prettiest turd on the ground."

"We welcome the Sonics to our city for several reasons. They need our unwavering support and we need their presence."

Uh...okaaaaaay...

"We are tired of being casted as an outdated cowboys and indians state. We celebrate our western heritage - just like Seattle celebrates its maritime and woodsman heritage, but the time has come that the world sees Oklahoma as it is - a world class and diverse community of people ready for positive changes!"

Are you running for office?...

"Perhaps, If Seattle had taken the time to put down their lattes and unplugged from their iPod’s for a moment, they probably would have spent more time ensuring that the Sonics stayed in Seattle."

Ah...yes...you, being in such a sophisticated state...sorry, I meant to say ULTRA sophisticated...should know that we much prefer the Zune to the Ipod...go MSFT!

"You guys are no strangers to protest and you had an opportunity to vote to let your voice be heard. Oh well, you can't cry over spilled milk - in your case 'non-fat creamer'."

Yet another CREATIVE coffee reference...oh stop, your killing me!

What was the point of your message?

Was it mearly to run around in circles, banging a pot with a spoon, while yelling "Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma!"

Can we get someone else from OK to please make sense of your statesman...

...please no cowboys or indians...only the abundantly available, "ultra sophisticated"...

Posted by Pokenour

2:30 PM, Apr 19, 2008


So let's add the OKC Ultra Sophs to our list of nicknames, afterall, they are about as sophisticated as an elite group of sophomores = Go Clay, you're a demon possessed.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

3:22 PM, Apr 19, 2008

OK, we all need a good laugh after this horrible week...so, here's the perfect clip.

Let me set the cast:

Steve Martin = David Stern
Michael Cain = Clay Bennett
Glenne Headly = The Sonics

Ok, now watch and enjoy...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed3jRJr5IGQ

Posted by Pokenour

3:29 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Great clip Dawgone in AZ, ya suppose they have genital clip small enough to git Stern? Go Clay, you're the Demon possessed.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

3:33 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Ha! Yeah, I doubt it...

But I love the surgical glove and vasaline that Stern (Martin) puts on...perfectly fitting.

-DAWGONE-

Posted by Pokenour

3:37 PM, Apr 19, 2008

How about we add the OKC Wide Open Spaces to our list of nicknames, I just hope little David keeps his cheeks shut. Go Clay, demon city.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

3:42 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Gotta fit the jerseys...how about the OKC Ruprechts?

Posted by Pokenour

3:46 PM, Apr 19, 2008

OKC team sponsor, Vasaline. Go Clay, use that demon jelly.

Posted by grant

3:48 PM, Apr 19, 2008

The NBA is dead to me. If the Sonics leave, I don't want another team. I've had enough. I'm sure Stern thinks we'll all just become Blazers fans (and that's tempting only because they have B-Roy, a SEATTLE hero from his days at Garfield and UW). The former UW and Seattle area players have been the only thing even worth seeing for the past few years. Despite the rough years we have remained extremely loyal, until Clay came to town with stories(lies) about staying in Seattle. The reality is I will be done with this broken league for good. Let OKC foot the bill for manipulative billionaire liars. The NBA has sent a message loud and clear to its fans and host cities; we mean nothing to them. We are just little people they will trample without remorse. Well f$ck you too NBA. Go sucker some other idiots into paying for your terrible product until your league collapses and you start demanding more public money just to stay afloat. Oh that's right, the owners are all so rich they can piss away hundreds of millions of dollars without even flinching...disgusting.

OKC-
Enjoy the honeymoon, because Sonics fans know how quickly rich boys get bored with their toys. Don't complain when Bennett and Co. start demanding a new arena (Ford will NOT cut it long term). Enjoy KD, JG and this years #1 pick, because they will all be gone as soon as their contracts expire and they are free agents. See how much you like paying for 60 loss seasons, especially when some new rich boy from out of town decides he wants a new toy and overpays for the team.

Posted by grant

3:48 PM, Apr 19, 2008

The NBA is dead to me. If the Sonics leave, I don't want another team. I've had enough. I'm sure Stern thinks we'll all just become Blazers fans (and that's tempting only because they have B-Roy, a SEATTLE hero from his days at Garfield and UW). The former UW and Seattle area players have been the only thing even worth seeing for the past few years. Despite the rough years we have remained extremely loyal, until Clay came to town with stories(lies) about staying in Seattle. The reality is I will be done with this broken league for good. Let OKC foot the bill for manipulative billionaire liars. The NBA has sent a message loud and clear to its fans and host cities; we mean nothing to them. We are just little people they will trample without remorse. Well f$ck you too NBA. Go sucker some other idiots into paying for your terrible product until your league collapses and you start demanding more public money just to stay afloat. Oh that's right, the owners are all so rich they can piss away hundreds of millions of dollars without even flinching...disgusting.

OKC-
Enjoy the honeymoon, because Sonics fans know how quickly rich boys get bored with their toys. Don't complain when Bennett and Co. start demanding a new arena (Ford will NOT cut it long term). Enjoy KD, JG and this years #1 pick, because they will all be gone as soon as their contracts expire and they are free agents. See how much you like paying for 60 loss seasons, especially when some new rich boy from out of town decides he wants a new toy and overpays for the team.

Posted by Pokenour

3:57 PM, Apr 19, 2008

OKC - coming soon a in a league near you - the Berlin Bobcats, the Rome Hornets, the London Kings, and no less, the Paris Sonics (Concordes) - just give it time, you'll be waving bye, bye too. And who knows who will move to China and Japan? Stern's NBA will have a whale of a carbon footprint. Go Clay, demon possessed.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

4:03 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Hey Grant...don't forget, "The NBA Cares"...

Now I know why the NBA doesn't care that the league is full of a bunch of pompous egotistical thugs...because that is what the leadership and ownership of the league displays. The players are just emulating their leadership...

Compare the player image of Football to Basketball...it has changed greatly recently (the Artest fight was just the beginning)...walk into Qwest Stadium and see all the banners of charities and non-profit foundations set up by the players...do you see much of that in the NBA...no way.

Selfish greed in the NBA, where 41 years means NOTHING.

(Great, and I was in such a good mood after that clip I found and posted above...thanks.)

Posted by Pokenour

4:12 PM, Apr 19, 2008

Ya NBA charities are composed of rob from the public and give to the rich. Go Clay, Robin Hood possessed.

Posted by mark ws

4:28 PM, Apr 19, 2008

So Percy, what kind of insights can the former partner that was replaced by Tom Ward bring to the table regarding the strategy and direction of Team OKC before he bailed from the investment? Won't his testimony be interesting!!

Posted by D Mars

9:31 PM, Apr 19, 2008

DAWGONE in AZ:
No… thank YOU for your comments. I’m happy to see that you took so much time to dissect what I had to say.

1. “ thanks for your incredible INSIGHT on (1) not only on what po-dunk USA represents (we get it, your more than six-shooters and ta-ton-ka meat)”

Correction… we prefer hunting rifles and longhorn cattle meat. Longhorns tend to be grass fed and are a much leaner meat than corn fed cattle. Oh, and two more things related to your comments, Number 1, I think you meant to say “you’re more than six-shooters and ta-ton-ka meat” not “your”. Number 2, ‘ta-ton-ka’ is the Sioux and Lakota tribes word for bison. Those tribes existed in large numbers in Minnesota, not Oklahoma. You must be a product of Seattle’s fine public school system.

2. “but also (2) uncovering our past sins of not supporting our sonics and "taking them for granted" (78% attendance during this last season which was, record-wise and with the purchase, moral-wise, the worst season of our history).”

I could care less about your 78% attendance record during game time. The question is did you all ‘show up’ to keep the Sonics in Seattle while the decision was still in your hands? Being that the Sonics are packing their things and coming to “po-dunk” USA, I think not.

3. “In addition (3) you highlighted how negligent we were in not giving in to the NBA-led extortion demanding immediate resolution for a new $300M stadium (10 years ago we spent $100M to renovate Key Arena when the NBA/Ackerley's demanded it and next year the state would eventually have come up with an arena deal during the next legislature for our current Sonics).”

So much has changed over the past 10 years. Did you all ever think ahead during the renovation of the Key Arena? The fact is, the Key arena opened back in 1962. It’s old. Renovation took place between 1994 and 1995, however the Sonics had to use the Kingdome as their home arena primarily due to sellout crowds during the playoffs. The Ford Center, on the other hand, opened in 2002. It currently has a little over 2,000 more seats than the Key Arena. It’s newer, bigger, more state of the art, and promises to exceed other arenas nationally following an approved renovation that will accommodate a practice facility, restaurants, more vending stands, and a new and improved locker room.

4. “And finally (4) our vast city's history of logging...huh?...have you ever BEEN to Seattle?”

DAWGONE in AZ, take time to know your history.
An excerpt from Seattle.com History (http://www.seattle.com/history/)

TIMBER! The Logging Industry and the Origins of Seattle
In the fall of 1851, two intrepid brothers, Arthur and David Denny, (and a handful of others who had migrated west during the Gold Rush), landed at Alki Point on the western edge of Elliot Bay. After spending a miserable winter they migrated to the eastern shores where they established the small settlement that would become Seattle—a name derived from the joint Chief of the two native tribes that inhabited the region.

The first major industry to grace the emerald shores of Elliot Bay was logging. From the time of the first colonial activities in 1851, the timber trade proved to be the primary source of growth in this small northwestern town. The combination of the safe bay and the proximity of lush and dense millennia-old coniferous forests made Seattle the perfect location and in 1852 Henry Yesler began construction on the first steam-powered mill in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle quickly boomed, driven by the timber demands of an emerging shipbuilding industry in the area and massive San Francisco building projects kept money flowing into the town. Traditionally it was believed that the strip of land that Yesler was given by the settlers (and which is now occupied by Yesler Way) was the first "Skid Row" in America, named for the logs that were dragged down the hill to Yesler's mill. The abundance of alcohol, gambling and prostitution located around this center of the logging industry gave "Skid Row" its modern connotation. True or not, the tale as been part of Seattle myth for nearly a century.

So you ask me in a condescending manner, “Have you ever been to Seattle?” My question is, “Have you?” I love Seattle and all of the Pacific Northwest. I’m there quite frequently visiting with my family and exploring all of the natural sites surrounding your state and the state of Oregon. I actually lived there at one time until I relocated to fill a major position in the public health field. So, as you can see, I’m willing to bet I know a bit more about Seattle than you do.

But I’ll give you a little credit. You were right, Seattleites would prefer Zune over iPod. What was I thinking?! My bad. That was so un-ultra sophisticated of me. Well, I have to go. I’m having ‘ta-ton-ka’ for dinner. :-)

Posted by Pokenour

11:33 PM, Apr 19, 2008


Unfortunately, I don't think longhorns will fit the bill for an OKC nickname, somehow Texas has that cornered, but then there is a new candidate in D Mars post, OKC Rifles. Now the ARA will love that maybe you can get as donation from them foy possessed Clay's defense fund. Go Clay, the demon awaits you.

Posted by S.

1:39 AM, Apr 20, 2008

OK, all fair game. Where is the report describing the relationships between Howard, Clayton and D.Stern, print it, period.

Posted by Mark WS

7:43 AM, Apr 20, 2008

The emails between Stern and Clay around the time that Sterno prompted Clay to make the payout to terminate the lease should be interesting. Too bad there are no wire taps to catch the phone conversations.

Posted by DanO

10:27 PM, Apr 20, 2008

Seattle, we in tulsa and other parts of Oklahoma, excluding OKC can relate to your feeling on losing the sonices. It took only minutes after the vote for Bennett and the mayor of OKC to tell the rest of our state to go to hell by saying that the name of the team would be Oklahoma City not Oklahoma. This after taking our state tax breaks for the sonics and having VIP's from tulsa and other areas come to OKC to meet with Stern and the other people on the relocation team from the NBA. Also the vote might have different if the NBA had known that Bennett would not include the whole state. I for now will continue to watch the hornets on league pass before I wear a shirt that says OKLAHOMA CITY

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:18 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Jay, you F'ing moron - operating losses are BS and everyone knows it - I can pencil a loss out of anything if I come up with enough expenses. Fact is those $60M in "losses" turned into $150M in profit bilked from your inbreed statesman, Clay Bennett. Cut the business crap - Horseface Bennett was heisting the team from the moment the NBA approved the sale - and planning it with Stern's help well before that.

You and the rest of you misinformed tabacco-chewing Okie's need to cross your fingers that the City of Seattle doesn't win again - cuz Clay will be dumping them back to someone with more money than him and he'll be going back to Oklahoma with a tear in his eye.

It isn't about support or business or anything of that nature. It's extortion and greed, something the NBA has been full of since David Stern brought his pudgy, deformed face to the forefront.

DanO - that's sweet dude, but we call them the Seattle SuperSonics up here, not the Washington SuperSonics. I wouldn't get my Wranglers all knotted up over the OKC thing. Truth is, Oklahoma, with City or not, sounds like crap.

It ain't over yet...this approval means nothing in relation to the litigation. Until then Jay - clam up with your jibberish.

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:21 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Jay, you F'ing moron - operating losses are BS and everyone knows it - I can pencil a loss out of anything if I come up with enough expenses. Fact is those $60M in "losses" turned into $150M in profit bilked from your inbreed statesman, Clay Bennett. Cut the business crap - Horseface Bennett was heisting the team from the moment the NBA approved the sale - and planning it with Stern's help well before that.

You and the rest of you misinformed tabacco-chewing Okie's need to cross your fingers that the City of Seattle doesn't win again - cuz Clay will be dumping them back to someone with more money than him and he'll be going back to Oklahoma with a tear in his eye.

It isn't about support or business or anything of that nature. It's extortion and greed, something the NBA has been full of since David Stern brought his pudgy, deformed face to the forefront.

DanO - that's sweet dude, but we call them the Seattle SuperSonics up here, not the Washington SuperSonics. I wouldn't get my Wranglers all knotted up over the OKC thing. Truth is, Oklahoma, with City or not, sounds like crap.

It ain't over yet...this approval means nothing in relation to the litigation. Until then Jay - clam up with your jibberish.

Posted by Brent Kroeker

1:35 PM, Apr 24, 2008

Dear Liberal Panzies,

SCOREBOARD.

Regards,
Oklahoma City.

Recent entries

Jun 13, 08 - 04:27 PM
Mayor Nickels will be the first to testify

Jun 12, 08 - 08:37 PM
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Jun 11, 08 - 11:09 AM
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Jun 9, 08 - 11:43 AM
Bayless and Gordon arrive this week for workouts

Jun 5, 08 - 04:25 PM
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