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cmh6476
04-15-2008, 02:36 PM
The former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics plans to sue the current owners to get the team back, arguing they breached a condition of the sale to make a "good-faith effort" to keep Seattle's oldest pro sports franchise from leaving town, according to Seattle-area media reports.

Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, who sold the Sonics to an Oklahoma City-based group led by Clay Bennett, will not seek monetary damages, but wants the team back, according to his attorney, Richard Yarmuth.

"It's not money damage. It's to have the team returned," Yarmuth said, according to The Seattle Times. "The theory of the suit is that when the team was sold, the Basketball Club of Seattle, our team here, relied on promises made by Clay Bennett and his ownership that they desired to keep the team in Seattle and intended to make a good-faith effort to accomplish that."

The team's ownership group has sought NBA approval to move the team to Oklahoma City for next season. The city has taken the team to court to enforce its lease at Key Arena, which runs through September 2010.

The lawsuit, expected to be filed in the next two weeks, comes after the city obtained and made public e-mails among members of the current Sonics ownership group, in which they are seen privately discussing a move to Oklahoma City at the same time they were publicly pledging to continue "good-faith" efforts to remain in Seattle.

After purchasing the team and the WNBA's Seattle Storm from Schultz in July, 2006 for $350 million, Bennett promised to spend one full year after the purchase was approved to seek a viable home for the Sonics in Seattle. The NBA approved the sale of the Sonics in October 2006.

Bennett's trips to Washington state to lobby for a proposed $500 million arena in suburban Renton and his hiring of a Seattle-based lobbyist and architectural firm have no bearing on the lawsuit, Yarmuth told The Times.

"We're talking about fraud at the time the contract was signed," Yarmuth said, according to the newspaper. "It's not merely what activities, good faith or otherwise, were engaged in after the contract was signed so far as lobbying for a new stadium."

Bennett and ownership partners Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward exchanged e-mails in April 2007 in which they discussed whether there was any way to avoid further "lame duck" seasons in Seattle before the team could be relocated.

Bennett responded: "I am a man possessed! Will do everything we can. Thanks for hanging with me boys."

Four months later, after McClendon was quoted by an Oklahoma publication that "we didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle; we hoped to come here," Bennett told NBA commissioner David Stern in an e-mail that the group had not discussed a move to Oklahoma City.

"I haven't studied them but my sense of it was that Clay, as the managing partner and the driving force of the group, was operating in good faith under the agreement that had been made with Howard Schultz," Stern said on a conference call Monday. "His straight and narrow path may not have been shared by all of his partners in their views, but Clay was the one that was making policy for the partnership."

The NBA's owners are expected to vote on the proposed Sonics move Friday. The league's relocation committee has already approved the move.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3347564


That's an awful pretty and shiny taxpayer funded arena just sittin there without a tenant we got down in our power and light district...

Demonpenz
04-15-2008, 02:43 PM
nothing to add

Baconeater
04-15-2008, 02:44 PM
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=182973

Still on the front page. :shake:

cmh6476
04-15-2008, 02:49 PM
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=182973

Still on the front page. :shake:

well hell and I thought I looked. Shoulda known with Joe around :nosmilie:

Ultra Peanut
04-15-2008, 03:00 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3347564


That's an awful pretty and shiny taxpayer funded arena just sittin there without a tenant we got down in our power and light district...The only KC that's getting the Sonics has an O in front of it.

ChiefsCountry
04-15-2008, 03:02 PM
That's an awful pretty and shiny taxpayer funded arena just sittin there without a tenant we got down in our power and light district...

You do realize that the Sonics were bought by an Oklahoma City businessman and they have a nice shiny arena waiting as well.

CrazyPhuD
04-15-2008, 03:07 PM
You know if we got rid of all the whiner's in the world we'd probably lose 80+% of the worlds population.....still would be a much nicer place to live.

rtmike
04-15-2008, 03:11 PM
They got snookered.

It reminds me of the Germans take over of Chrysler.

cmh6476
04-15-2008, 03:17 PM
You do realize that the Sonics were bought by an Oklahoma City businessman and they have a nice shiny arena waiting as well.

of course I do. I also realize that no Sonics move to Ok City also means we're further away then we were before...

Deberg_1990
04-15-2008, 05:03 PM
You do realize that the Sonics were bought by an Oklahoma City businessman and they have a nice shiny arena waiting as well.


IN all honesty, the NBA would probably do better in OKC than it would in KC because it would be the only professional sport in town.

Their support for the Hornets was strong during the Katrina relocation.

ChiefsCountry
04-15-2008, 05:05 PM
IN all honesty, the NBA would probably do better in OKC than it would in KC because it would be the only professional sport in town.

What about Oklahoma Sooners football in the suburbs? :D

Coach
04-15-2008, 05:57 PM
IN all honesty, the NBA would probably do better in OKC than it would in KC because it would be the only professional sport in town.

Their support for the Hornets was strong during the Katrina relocation.

True, but OKC's market is lower than KC, I'd imagine.