Both the PI and the Times (oh, and the TNT, too) have articles about the court date, from which we can glean the following information:
-The trial is expected to last six days, with another week or two for the judge to reach her verdict, meaning a decision would not be available until July 1 or so.
-The NBA schedule is due out in June (ish), which could conceivably mean that Bennett might be able to move the team, anyways, but the timing would be exceedingly tight.
-That is counterbalanced by the possibility of the loser appealing the decision, which would add another year's worth of waiting.
-The NBA will discuss the Sonics' application for relocation in April at their governor's meeting. Considering that there will be a pending court case involving the team, it would seem unlikely that the league would permit the Sonics to move prior to resolution of the case. Also, according to Greg Johns at the PI, "The city has said it will consider adding the NBA to the lawsuit should the league approve relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City while the team is still bound by its current lease." That sound you heard was David Stern frowning as hard as humanly possible.
Holy crap, the Sonics ended the streak by beating the haven't-lost-to-Seattle-in-like-14-years-or-even-let-them-come-within-34-points-of-us-Spurs. I just creamed myself.
Could the Sonics find away to stay in the 206?
And why wasn't the NBA already named in the lawsuit? Could Stern's comments and actions towards Bennett's group show collusion between the two?
That would be a difficult case to make, to my very untrained legal mind, anyway. They would be much more likely to make a strong case if/when the Board of Governors makes a ruling regarding relocation with a pending court case hanging in the wind. As Chris pointed out a sonicscentral, the NBA must hate to have this hanging over the NBA Finals (for the 6 people watching it these days, anyway), and if you add in the NBA as a defendant and the possibility of David Stern having to testify during the Finals, wow, that's just bad PR of Bush Administration-proportions.
To be honest, Stern doesn't care about the Sonics relocation...evidence when he didn't he spend more than 2 days in Seattle
Friendly quibble- the post should have been titled "more relocation news" or "more court news" not "more arena news" as there has been no arena news clearly made, just background rumors. Until that changes it is no public announcement, no legislative action, no campaign for public support = no arena = no basis for NBA to take action to keep the team here. I hope it will eventually change but it hasn't and there is little reason now to expect it suddenly changes. Maybe they get to arena news 6-12 months from now if they win the court case. Maybe...
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