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July 9, 2008 1:01 PM

Stern tries to block Schultz's lawsuit

Posted by Percy Allen

After months of sitting on the sideline, the NBA has finally entered the high-stakes game between Clay Bennett and Howard Schultz.

Obviously, Commissioner David Stern is pulling for Bennett, who bought the Sonics and paid a $45 million buyout to move the team to Oklahoma City. Stern filed a motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to block Schultz's lawsuit which would rescind the 2006 sale of the team.

Schultz claims he was deceived when he sold the team and wants to put it into a collective trust and sell to an "honest buyer."

Stern says that's impossible because the league constitution doesn't allow teams to be put into a collective trust. If there was a dispute in the sale, ironically, Stern becomes the caretaker of the team and decides the course of action.

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Posted by Space Needle

1:27 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Interesting - yeah, let Stern "manage" the team! LOL! Anyway, the NBA might have opened its constitution up to possible federal scrutiny on anti-trust or other fair trade regulations.

Posted by Nuke

2:00 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Game over.

Posted by Swanny

2:03 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I am hoping that Howies lawsuit gets settled and thats when we get the guarantee from the NBA that we will get a team in 5 years as long as the Key is updated. I think that is the best case outcome from his lawsuit.

Posted by OKCMallen

2:24 PM, Jul 09, 2008

The NBA is not seeking to block; they are seeking to intervene. There's a major difference, but after reading your blog over the past months, I don't expect you to get it right or to report with accuracy.

Posted by Paul

2:26 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Since when does the "NBA constitution" take precedence over the US constitution and our court system?

The arrogance of Stern is amazing. He wants the courts to block a U.S. Distinct Court case because it would break his precious leagues constitution?

If this motion passes, I'm going to start a club and make it unconstitutional in my club to pay taxes...

Posted by zip

2:58 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Technical language aside the essence of Stern's suit is for the court to invalidate Schultz's suit before it sees the light of day. What they're using for justification for their request is what the court will use in deciding wheter to grant or reject the NBA's request. Intervene... Block... the final outcome will essentially serve the same purpose (or not).
In the words of the great Sgt. Hulka, "Lighten up, Francis!"

Posted by SaukMtnMan

3:01 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Our Sonics were euthanized by the NBA.
Stern is a dictator strong arming other markets by what he allowed to happen in Seattle. That our own civic leaders were complicit in the death of our team is despicable!
As long as Stern remains commissioner, expect more of the same. I'm not, as a fan of the game, interested in getting another cities team or IT'S history. Our Sonics are not coming back, and all this lawsuit by Schultz is, is an attempt to save face for the sell out he committed in 2006 when Bennett swiped the team in front of his face.
I wish the former Sonics players well, but as for the other morons involved in the demise of our team, take a flying leap.
From now on, it's "GO BLAZERS!!!"

Posted by Dblaster

3:09 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Looks like the Howard Schultz lawsuit struck a nerve with the NBA, David Stern, Clay Bennett, and OKCMallen (and presumably many other OKC Depredators). Well, well.....looks like this whole Schultz situation just got further validation. I thought it was curious last week when the settlement wording specifically named the Schultz lawsuit, and now the NBA is trying to step in and "intervene" which really means "assert its monopoly." I'm liking this Schultz lawsuit more and more every day, if for no other reason than to keep the spotlight on the behavior of the NBA, Stern, and Bennett.

Posted by Gordie

3:30 PM, Jul 09, 2008

The corrupt dictator with the fragile ego and no moral fiber will do everything in his power to protect someone he's deep in bed with and willing to lie for. David and Clay are the perfect Jerry Springer couple, come to think about it.

Has Stern spoken publicly about the Schultz lawsuit yet? If he has, did he start his first sentence with, "I haven't read it yet, but..."?

Posted by reign man

3:41 PM, Jul 09, 2008

oklahoma city sonics vs schultz. Should be another interesting trial in seattle?

Posted by dblog

3:51 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Stern is worried and is trying an end round. Hope Schultz stays the course.

Posted by SnohoCo

4:20 PM, Jul 09, 2008

We have to separate the two lawsuits and for those keen to keep the Sonics in town, the Schultz lawsuit more directly impacts whether the team moves or not (well, kinda moot, but maybe not?)

The city's suit was simply one revolving around the lease of the Key - the city just wanted the Sonics to live up to the lease - and ultimately the Sonics bought their way out of the lease. This happens all the time with leases.

The Schultz suit seeks to negate the sale altogether and more addresses keeping the Sonics in town if upheld by the courts. Both the city and Howard Schultz have the right to file any kind of lawsuit they wish for whatever legitimate reason. It's Schultz's time and money, and his right to file suit. Ultimately I predict a "settlement" in the Schultz suit also - with additional compensation paid to Schultz rather than the Sonics staying in town, which would be a stretch. But who knows? Stranger things have happended!

If Schultz IS successful, there are apparently now, some people who may step up locally to buy (and invest) in the team. If not successful, Schultz picks up a few more bucks in a settlement.

Anyway all professional sports leagues have some monopolistic practices, and the courts and Congress usually look away, only occassionally slapping the wrists of pro sports leagues on their monopolies. Where the line is drawn in respect to the private sale of the Sonics to OKC, and at what point the NBA asserts "jurisdiction" over the terms and outcome of the sale is a question for the courts to answer with the NBA's announcement today. Yes, the league approved the sale, but can they prevent Schultz, who now is no longer under the thumb of the NBA, be prevented by the league from fililng this lawsuit? We'll find out!

Posted by GoRentonGo

4:49 PM, Jul 09, 2008

This is going to be fun to watch for awhile (until Howard settles too). It's starting to smell like Al Davis in the '80s and '90s with antitrust issues (of which I know nothing about).

Stern could settle this TODAY with new teams in Seattle and Vegas or Kansas City. OKC should have a team, so should KC and Vegas. Makes me wonder why not. It's not for a lack of talent at all. It's either extortion for new buildings, or he knows his house of cards is going to fall and he needs to find home for other teams (Grizzlies, Hornets). Or both.

I think the greatest two things that happened last week were right after the settlement. (1) Bennett opened his news conference telling the gathering "We made it" referring to the successful landing of the team to OKC. That was the destination all along -- proof is in the eyes and voice in the video. (2) was Stern's memo saying that, all of a sudden, "...we believe KeyArena could properly be renovated..." Really? Wow, that was not the case last week.

Don't think Judge Peckman will have thoughts about that? So what that her ruling may violate the NBA's constitution. As a bully, Stern needs to threaten to succeed.

Hard to move the team back? They're in Orlando, and we make planes here. Fly 'em.

Posted by GoRentonGo

5:29 PM, Jul 09, 2008

OKCMallen --

What do you mean? I think it's clear that Stern's intent is to block the lawsuit in any way he can at this point. In law, the term intervene means to enter the lawsuit -- the first step to executing a block is to get standing...

Posted by Clay and David sitting in a tree,,,

10:03 PM, Jul 09, 2008

The NBA needs less teams, not more. The NBA game as we see it today is a watered down mess.

Posted by Danz

10:05 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I saw the article about colleges in OC and whether the NBA would have a negative impact. LAAAAAAAAME! Who the heck around here would care? We just lost our Sonics. PERIOD. If my girlfriend left me for another man, would I want to know about whether his kids were ok with it? Let OKC worry about their schools. I'm tired of people being cowards and I'm tired of sell outs. Prints something that people care about.

Posted by Hawkfan

7:06 AM, Jul 10, 2008


Posted by SeattleInsomniac

8:29 AM, Jul 10, 2008

For a league that doesn't have anti-trust protection similar to MLB's, the NBA Is sticking their necks out pretty far on this one. They are just asking for Congress to look further into their operations, beyond the refereeing scandal et al......

Posted by statboys dad

9:00 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Help me with a thought here?

(1) If Bennet would have purchased any of ??? NBA teams and ordered the city in these up and down times come up with money to build a new arena, say 15-20 would have said NO.

(2) If he really wanted to stay in Seattle? Why didn't he find a way to make time and let the end results work out, positively?

(3) If Stearn would have supported a 41 year old team and find a way to resolve the future in a non public way...Do you think in 4-5 years they would be playing in a new arena? YES!!

I do believe this was a divorce from one side only because they just wanted too! A MARRIAGE takes consessions to work things out. Stearn and his club of boys and ego's shoiuld have sold an expansion team to OKC and the league would have made a huge stride in solving two issues. Now all three groups are spending stupid money to come up with the same results. Hell our schools could use that money?

(4) Yes the intentions from the begining were to move to OKC...

Stearn be the solution maker you have always been in the past and put any EGO you and the others have and lets make positive changes for both cities!!!

Expansion for OKC and have the Sonics back where they belong!!

Maybe put half of the New Orleans games again in OKC until next season?

Posted by edtrem

11:59 AM, Jul 10, 2008

never buying anything from starbux again.

thanks howard

Posted by Greg

7:24 AM, Jul 11, 2008

The NBA is a PRIVATE institution. It's not traded publicly nor is it susceptible to the usual public court interventions like Fortune 500 companies.

There is no anti-trust violation because this is not one league trying to dismantle another. This is now a former owner trying to make up for what the Seattle public views as a bad deal.

Schultz's lawsuit is a PR stunt.

in case none of you know Stern's prior position before coming the commish, he was the league's top litigator. By trade he is one of the best corporate lawyers in the country.

The Sonics are history now. Blame that overpriced coffee owner for the mess.

His greed and lack of deep pockets is what sold the Sonics down the river.

Posted by New Okie Dokie FAN

11:01 AM, Jul 11, 2008

Seattle: Get over it , There GONE

Posted by in a seattle courtroom

1:48 PM, Jul 11, 2008

anyone know the dates for schultz lawsuit in u.s. district court in seattle. This case is for real, its obvious okc did not fulfill its contract with schultz! You have to remember clay clay was "a man possesed" to move seattle sonics to oklahoma the minute he bought the team. The decision for judge is simple and will be for schultz in this case.

Posted by Nick

4:07 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Okie Dokie - It's "they're" not "there." It seems they have some good edumacation down there in the arm pit of the country.

I always thought the Howard Schultz lawsuit was a PR stunt. However, it had the attention of Bennett and co. when they made that settlement with Seattle. And now it has the attention of David Stern, maybe there actually is something to it? It still feels like little more than a last second hail mary though.

Posted by ummmm

12:05 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Why is anyone reading this crap anymore? They are no longer the SEATTLE Sonics! Drop this blog and get on with your lives. Seattle will NEVER have another NBA team as long as Stern in Commish!

Posted by Mark Stevens

1:03 AM, Jul 12, 2008

I'm posting this wherever I can find Sonic fans blogging. I talked with Wayne today. According to him, no one had even suggested a community buy out.
Mark Stevens

ATTENTION SEATTLE SONICS LOVERS... contact Mayor Nickels to have the city of Seattle buy the Sonics. The law passed by the voters was simple... no tax payer money for arena up grades unless there is profit sharing. Seattle could get minority partners like Ballmer and his group. No way would Stern say Seattle is unfit to own a team!!

Contact person is "Wayne" an assistant to Mayor Nickles. 206 684 4000
Contact Tony White KING TV 206 448 5555

Posted by hawkster

1:03 AM, Jul 12, 2008

you guys should start covering the blazers in depth if the schultz lawsuit doesnt bring the sonics back. i hope it does but there are a ton of blazers fans that read your paper and if in fact the sonics are gone it would be nice to see some good blazers coverage. dont take this comment the wrong way.... i would love for the sonics to come home. but if they dont, the blazers need some good coverage.

Posted by DC

8:33 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Forget a new team! I don't want the Stern or the NBA community's pity. Forget the Blazers too. I love Roy, but supporting them just means putting more money into the NBA machine and making the OKC move a good one.

My new basketball following is going to be to make life as miserable as possible for any fan of the OKC "Sonics". I am now "a man possessed" to be a pain in *ss.

Posted by a man possesed?

1:48 PM, Jul 12, 2008

What does "a man possesed" mean? Is this someone who lies to everyone in seattle for a year and then moves your favorite sports team to oklahoma city? Just curious?

Posted by Tara

7:15 PM, Jul 12, 2008


Posted by leakorba

7:18 PM, Jul 12, 2008

What more can you expect from Stern? The whole thing is a joke.

Posted by Jim Bob

11:57 AM, Jul 14, 2008

Did Schultz really believe that out-of-town owners would be more sucessful than him in putting together an improved arena in spite of significant opposition from the general public and city and state governments? CYA Howard? Give it a rest!

Posted by sportsayer

10:08 AM, Jul 15, 2008

There can be no block by the nba because this situation became a special circumstance when the nba broke the sales agreement with a criminal offense of fraud , which I am sure the economists will be back in this lawsuit to say how it hurts a personal personally financially when they are selling in good faith that the buyer will do as is said in the agreement and behind his back actually are doing the polar opposite

and it would be so easy to all just let this go but the right thing to do is to support an event that contributes economically to not only our community but to our collective working conscience . Getting this team back is what we need , the lease sure nice to win it but city did right thing as it must speak for the collective whole plurality and they did as they saw fit and that although we Supes fans want to argue can not be argued tangibly

Posted by NYSonicsFan

12:28 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Oh this thing is not over. At the root of every comment to say otherwise is a seed of fear. You can see that in Keller's comments and in Stern's actions. I think Schultz's attorney knows what he's doing.

I can't see Schultz at this point doing this just for PR. By taking a few steps back and filing to push back the court date, then to bifurcate the case shows that he's in this thing for the long haul. He stands to lose a lot of money, right when Starbucks is making major cutbacks. They have a legitimate case, and it's pretty obvious that Bennett and the NBA are trying to diffuse, diffuse, diffuse.

Posted by NW Roundball

2:35 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I have to admit - Stern is a worm... there is no doubt about it...

Posted by JuneauTom

11:36 AM, Jul 29, 2008

Being that the big news is which of six names to name the former sonics. I think they neglected to take a 7th name into account. How about the Oklahoma City Robbers?

Recent entries

Jul 9, 08 - 01:01 PM
Stern tries to block Schultz's lawsuit

Jul 7, 08 - 03:55 PM
Photos of new OKC team

Jul 2, 08 - 05:25 PM
They're gone

Jul 2, 08 - 11:49 AM
City and the Sonics discussing settlement?

Jul 1, 08 - 06:09 PM
Summer league roster released







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