Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

NBA


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Sonics Trial Blog

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

RSS feeds Subscribe|Sonics Trial blog home|Sonics blog home

June 20, 2008 3:28 PM

Griffin says goal was to keep team at Seattle Center

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.


Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Recent entries

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

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

February

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Browse the archives

July 2008

June 2008

Recent stories

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

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