Sonics Trial Blog
Seattle Times reporters Percy Allen, Jim Brunner and Danny O'Neil are filing updates from the courthouse throughout the day.
June 20, 2008 6:08 AM
Posted by Jim Brunner
KEY WITNESS: Seattle's lawyers certainly put a passionate Sonics fan on the stand Thursday when they called writer Sherman Alexie, winner of the National Book Award. But was he really the best fan representative? Alexie's gushing, theatrical testimony compared NBA players with figures from Greek mythology -- with LeBron James as Hercules (we hear he's cleaning out poop from some cow stables this off-season). Alexie also had a beef with how he had been treated by Sonics staff since Clay Bennett bought the team. At one season-ticket holder event, Alexie testified, Bennett's people failed to offer him cucumber sandwiches or popcorn like he'd been served in the past. Staff members also failed to recognize him -- Sherman Alexie! -- by sight. The Sonics' lead attorney "apologized" to Alexie before cross examination. "I'm sorry that the locker guy didn't know who you are, I am sorry there wasn't popcorn when you came in the door," said Brad Keller. Seattle attorney Michelle Jensen stood up: "Your honor, I will object. He is mocking the witness." Keller responded: "I am not."
OBJECTION SCORECARD: Seattle continues to lose the objection war by a huge margin not unlike that last game of the NBA Finals. At times, Judge Marsha Pechman has been downright mocking, particularly of city lawyer Jeffrey Johnson of K&L Gates, who has scored a few points, but can come across like a nice fellow who wandered into the wrong courtroom.
MR. CONFIDENT: Sonics lead attorney Keller apparently thinks his case is going so well he asked Pechman whether she wanted him to do his closing arguments today (Friday) -- instead of waiting until next week. Seattle's lead attorney, Paul Lawrence, meanwhile, was pleading Thursday with the judge to allow two rebuttal witnesses before closing arguments start.
UP TODAY: The Sonics hope to call former Sonics President Wally Walker and Seattle developer Matt Griffin -- both of whom are likely to be interrogated about their participation in what Clay Bennett's lawyers have called a "Machiavellian plan" to force Bennett to lose so much money at KeyArena that he'll have to sell the team. The final witness for the Sonics will be Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, who famously told Sports Illustrated a couple years ago that the impact of the Sonics' departure would be "close to zero." Sonics fans got mad at him for that and he apologized. But now Bennett likes Licata's assessment. Or at least his lawyers do.
Jul 2, 08 - 02:01 PM
Godden: Looks like a settlement for Sonics and city
Jul 2, 08 - 11:49 AM
City and the Sonics discussing settlement?
Jul 2, 08 - 06:00 AM
Judge to rule today in Sonics case
Jun 26, 08 - 07:44 PM
Confidential? Let's talk about it: Slade Gorton's NBA meeting
Jun 26, 08 - 07:22 PM
Press conference audio
Furniture & home furnishings
acoustic electric guitar
AKC English Bulldog Puppies
Antique Estate Sale - EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!
POST A FREE LISTING
Sonics attorneys focus on city's "poisoned well" plan
Bennett says Sonics could lose $60 million if forced to stay in Seattle 2 more years
Sonics CEO: Fans are apathetic
Clay's excuses sound as contrived as his arena plan
On the hot seat: Sonics' attorney trips up Nickels
Attorneys in Sonics case described as tenacious, polite
This judge will decide the fate of the Sonics
Seattle vs. Sonics: Trial starts next week, if there's no settlement
Take a closer look at the Sonics case
More revealing Sonics e-mails emerge
OKC officials inform Schultz they expect Sonics to relocate, no matter who owns team
Sonics e-mail hints at NBA's concern over breach of promise
Howard Schultz suit adds fuel to e-mail fire
NBA owners approve Sonics' move, but legal fight continues in Seattle
E-mails reveal Sonics owners intended to bolt from Seattle
Oklahoma House passes tax package designed to help lure Sonics
2007 "Poisoned Well" document (PDF)
Ward: "Are we doomed to have another lameduck season in Seattle?" (PDF)
Bennett's e-mail to Stern: "You are just one of my favorite people on earth" (PDF)
Clay Bennett and Sonics' court filing (PDF)
Gallery | Seattle SuperSonics: Lasting memories
Gallery | Bittersweet night for Sonics fans
Gallery | Sonics through the years
Gallery | 25th anniversary of Sonics world championship
Gallery | End of a Season, End of a Franchise?
Sports fan "Big Lo" seeks answers from Howard Schultz