Thursday, June 7

Bennett at Press Conference

As you no doubt have read by now, the folks at sonicscentral have uncovered a clause in the contract between the Sonics and the City of Seattle regarding the KeyArena lease. To wit, the clause stipulates that "either party" to the lease may enforce it, thereby requiring the other party to honor the conditions in the lease.

Bottom line, if the city stands up to the Sonics, Clay Bennett would be forced to honor the terms and therefore stay in Seattle until 2010.

Well, that's just huge. Humongous congratulations to Brian Robinson and Co. for illuminating this clause, which - considering that Bennett may be looking to buy out the lease in the immediate future - might be the most important paragraph in Sonics' history.

My question, or request if you will, to the Sonics' beat reporters - are you going to press Bennett on this at today's press conference for Sam Presti? I know Presti's plans for hiring a coach are important, but are they as important as the future of this franchise? I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth, but here are two questions I would like an answer to:

1. "Mr. Bennett, have you spoken with the City of Seattle recently, or do you intend to in the near future, regarding the buyout of your lease?"

2. "Mr. Bennett, how would the City's enforcement of the lease, which would require you to remain in Seattle until the 2009-10 season, impact your future plans for this franchise?"

As I said, I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but I truly hope Bennett gets grilled on this subject today. And if he stands there and puts up the standard, "I'm not taking questions about the arena situation," well, I guess I would be somewhat less than surprised.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heh, with this group, I'll be surprised if the press are actually in the same room as Bennett & Co during the 'conference'. They'll be in a soundproof glass enclsure, at the least! But yes, it would be nice if someone has the gonads to ask the tough questions, so long as they don't scare Presti into a Donovan.

Anonymous said...

Press Corps: Mr. Bennett! Mr. Bennett! How do you answer the question regarding your buyout of the lease!

Clay Bennett: I, um, don't wish to comment on that at this time ...

Press: Mr Bennett! What about the possibilty of the Sonics having to remain in Seattle for at least 3 more years?

CB: I, well, I reckon, shoot ...

Press: Is that your official statement?

CB (to his aides): Damnit, I told y'all that we should have just issued another press release. Why in tarnation did you make me fly up to this liberal-infested town for this pile o' nonsense?

ryan said...

Anyone out there who has access to what is being said at the press conference? I'd love to hear how the grilling goes ....

Anonymous said...

Anybody know if Presti's computer system advised the Spurs to sign Brent Barry to a long-term deal - that pays him $5 million a year - when he was an (old) 33? Maybe Presti's system was on the fritz that day.

Rich King said...

wow

nice

hope

Anonymous said...

you have uncovered nothing, if the parties agree to terminate the lease then it does not matter!!!

Pete said...

I think you need to direct your venom elsewhere. Due to our overwhelming laziness and apatheticness (?), we didn't uncover anything, it was the folks at sonicscentral.com.

And, in their defense, your argument sidesteps their rationale. The argument isn't that by discovering this clause they will force Bennett to stay in Seattle, it's that by discovering this clause they will shed light upon the situation, and force the Mayor of Seattle to admit that if he chooses to, he can force the Sonics to stay in Seattle.

Were this clause to remain hidden, the city could have gotten paid off and the public would have thought there were no alternatives. Now, because of Brian Robinson and his associates (too many names to list, sorry), we'll know better.