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Sonics Trial Blog

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 20, 2008 2:02 PM

Developer Matt Griffin testifies about effort to buy Sonics

Posted by Jim Brunner

Lunch recess is over, with Seattle developer Matt Griffin on the stand.

Sonics lead attorney Brad Keller is questioning Griffin about his involvement with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and others who were trying to purchase the Sonics.

Keller is trying to establish that the city of Seattle was a party to a "Machiavellian plan" to force Sonics owner Clay Bennett into selling the team.

Noting that part of that plan was to make Bennett lose money at KeyArena, Keller asked Griffin, "you had no ability to lock the PBC (Bennett's group) into losses at KeyArena, did you?"

Griffin responded: "Not that I know of." He agreed with Keller that only the city could create those financial losses (by holding the team to its lease.)

Keller also displayed e-mails in which Griffin and others discussed putting Bennett "in a box."

Keller asked whether "in a box" meant forcing Bennett to sell the team. Griffin resisted that, saying the goal was to make Bennett do something other than relocating. "I would have been happy if he'd stayed," Griffin said.

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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
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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
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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

Documents

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)

Multimedia

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

Fans weigh in about the state of the Sonics
Cartoon | Schultz jumps into action
Talk about the team in the Sonics forum

Other links

Trial coverage from www.newok.com
ESPN.com | Hope (still) springs in Seattle