It appears the four horsemen who rode in to save the Sonics may be headed back to the corral, at least if one believes what one reads in Greg Johns' PI article today.
Matt Griffin, speaking for the group, indicated, however, that should the April 10th self-imposed deadline pass, the group will not necessarily give up on helping the team out in the next year, should the city win its lawsuit against the NBA and a funding plan for the missing $75 million come to fruition.
Eric Williams at the TNT chimes in with a note that the city will hold a press conference this morning to discuss the health status of the KeyArena revamp.
Ironically, in another story penned by Johns, we find out that Dave Bean and Fred Brown aren't having any trouble finding money for their project, they're just having trouble finding a spot in which to build it.
It's now official - the Ballmer group deal has fallen through. See Times story here and TNT story here. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels reiterated that the pending lawsuit against the team will not be rescinded, despite the city's problem in coming up with $75 million for the KeyArena revamp. Jim Brunner at the Times made this insightful comment at the end of his story:
"Nickels was asked several times at the morning news conference whether the city will reconsider letting the Sonics out of the KeyArena lease in exchange for a larger cash payment or the promise of a potential future NBA franchise.
"Nickels repeatedly answered 'We have a court date in June' and refused to elaborate."
Color me pessimistic, but when politicians refuse to answer yes and no questions with a yes or no answer, that usually means that they are positioning themselves to make an unpopular decision. Does this mean that Nickels is getting ready to accept a cash payment from Clay Bennett in exchange for letting the Sonics out of their KeyArena lease? For now, only the mayor knows the answer.