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 3:28 PM
Posted by Percy Allen
The late afternoon session began with Seattle developer Matt Griffin on the witness stand fielding questions from Seattle attorney Paul Lawrence.
Earlier in the day, Griffin said a group that included K&L Gates attorney Slade Gorton adopted a plan to force Sonics owner Clay Bennett to sell the team. Under cross-examination, Griffin said forcing Bennett to sell was not the only option. In a document, he referred to Microsoft Steve Ballmer, who was going to buy the team and fund a portion of KeyArena renovations, as "reluctantant white knight."
Griffin said former Safeco president Mike McGavick authored the "Sonics Challenge: Why a Poisoned Well Affords a Unique Opportunity" power point presentation.
Lawrence examined Exhibit 576, an e-mail from Gorton to Griffin and others.
Griffin said he was willing to buy the Sonics along with Ballmer, wireless magnate John Stanton and Costco CEO Jim Sinegal. He said the group had three options. 1.) Bennett and his group would stay at KeyArena. 2.) Bennett would sell the Sonics. 3.) Another team would move to KeyArena.
Griffin said his group committed $150 million toward a $300 million KeyArena renovation.
Griffin said he never met with Mayor Greg Nickels about the city's legal plans.
Lawrence asked: "Did you and Mr. Ballmer want to bleed Clay Bennett or did you want to get a team in Seattle Center?"
"We clearly wanted a team in Seattle Center," Griffin said.
At 3:26 p.m. Lawrence concluded.
Under redirect, Sonics attorney Brad Keller asked what efforts Griffin made to get another NBA team.
"We didn't think we could get another NBA team without a renovated KeyArena," Griffin said.
Lawrence asked if Griffin had ever spoke to Bennett about KeyArena.
"No," Griffin said.
At 3:29 p.m., Griffin was excused and City Councilmember Nick Licata was being questioned by Keller.
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
A LIONEL train sale
City of Bellevue Weekly Permit Bulletin
City of Duvall NOtice of Day & Locatrion Ch...
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