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Seattle Times reporters Percy Allen, Jim Brunner and Danny O'Neil are filing updates from the courthouse throughout the day.

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June 19, 2008 10:31 AM

Alexie, ever the writer: "I want two more years of the Greek gods"

Posted by Percy Allen

Author Sherman Alexie said his love for basketball began when he grew up in Eastern Washington. He told colorful stories of playing the game with his father as a child.

Alexie is very long winded and takes a minute or two to answer each question. Sonics attorney Brad Keller asked Judge Marsha Pechman if Alexie could shorten his responses and Seattle attorney Michelle Jensen acknowledged she'll try to speed up his responses.

Alexie, a Native American, said Sonics crowds are racially mixed and enjoys the diversity at the games. He said he's an enthusiastic fan and compared NBA players to Greek mythology. He said LeBron James could be Hercules to future generations.

When asked if he would attend other basketball games if the Sonics left, Alexie said: "That's like telling Seattle they only get to have me as a writer and not Shakespeare. The Sonics would beat the Huskies by 70 points. The Sonics would beat the best high school team by 150 points and I want to see the very best."

Jensen asked: "Why do we need the Sonics to stay here?" Alexie said because it's a diverse sport. He also said it's the sport or poverty. He noted that several players rise from positions of poverty, including Jerry West, a poor West Virginian. He also said seven players in the NBA hail from Seattle.

Alexie characterized a 2005 playoff game in which former Sonics missed a potentially game-winning shot as "stuck in that moment between the mystic and the real."

Alexie said last August the team changed the annual seat relocation party. The party used to be a big event, but Alexie said this year it "was incredibly rude" this year.

Alexie said he hasn't been allowed to renew his season tickets. Jensen introduced Exhibit 336, a letter from the Sonics to season-ticket holders stating the team is not taking renewals until the trial concludes. Alexie said he felt the Sonics weren't interested in selling tickets and operated as if the team were leaving.

Jensen introduced Exhibit 337, a letter from the Sonics to season-ticket holders that told fans the NBA approved the move to Oklahoma City, and the team would contact fans on their account after the trial ends.

Jensen asked if the team leaves why will you renew?

Alexie said: "They've been here 41 years. I've been a season-ticket holder 12 years. I love this team. ... if they leave, the fellows have not been given the proper way to say goodbye. I 'm hoping in those two years if they do leave, the season-ticket holders, the fans , the city and team will have a chance to celebrate each other.

"I want two more years of the Greek gods."

Jensen closes and Keller begins cross-examination. Shortly into his questioning, Pechman broke for a 15-minute recess.

The trial will resume at 10:45 a.m.


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2007 "Poisoned Well" document (PDF)
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Trial coverage from www.newok.com
ESPN.com | Hope (still) springs in Seattle