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.