"Only two things give me pleasure in life: Stealing NBA teams and my collection of Adolf Hitler's golf clubs."
Another day, another cover-up from the Bennett camp.
The News Tribune reported yesterday that a Sonics employee has leaked details about yet another secret meeting:
Seattle SuperSonics chairman Clay Bennett told his employees that Oklahoma City is ready to foot the bill for the team to relocate there next season, a source within the organization said.And exactly how far would OKC be willing to go?
That information was passed along to Sonics employees during a meeting with Bennett on Wednesday, an employee who attended the meeting told The News Tribune on the condition of anonymity.
During the 40-minute meeting Wednesday, the team employee said Bennett provided the group with details of what Oklahoma City is willing to pay for to woo the Sonics:Of course, Bennett immediately went into red-alert denial mode:
• Any legal fees involving the team’s fight to break the KeyArena lease.
• Whatever the settlement is to the Seattle Center to buy out the lease.
• All relocation fees the NBA would force the team to pay other owners.
• Costs of physically moving the team’s staff and offices.
• Costs of upgrading the city’s current arena, the Ford Center, to make it NBA-ready.
• Costs of building a new arena, and when it’s finished, keeping the old facility running.
Read the rest here.
Bennett told The News Tribune that his comments were a hypothetical response.Rrrrright.
“The context of my response was after being asked the question how could Oklahoma City possibly be a competitive market to Seattle,” Bennett said. “And my answer is because Oklahoma City is a medium marketplace that highly values the opportunity to obtain an NBA franchise, not unlike any community or any state would value the pursuit of any other highly additive economic development opportunity, such as the value of a manufacturing plant or corporate headquarters."
Meanwhile, our pal, Henry Abbott at True Hoop has a good take on the story:
I don't know where the Sonics belong. Maybe Seattle ultimately sees this team as worth it and maybe it doesn't. But I feel Sonic fans are at least owed an honest attempt to keep the team -- not a process that has long smelled it like it might have been on rails out of town. Getting a good arena deal is a complicated process that takes multiple willing partners.
It's like building a house. If the guy who pours the foundation doesn't show up, and all your framers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and sheetrockers etc. are all standing around doing nothing, do you really have proof that you can't get it done? Or do you have proof that you need the foundation guy to try harder or get replaced?
Read the rest here.