Wednesday, May 7

Sonics Not Going Anywhere

Well, not for a year, anyway.

Judge Marsha Pechman made her ruling Tuesday, denying the Sonics' motion to have the financial aspect of the upcoming trial decided simultanesouly with the outcome of the trial itself.

Instead, as the city requested, the determination of how much money the Sonics would owe the city -IF they even won the trial, which is a hefty, Jerome James-sized IF - will be determined at a separate trial.

Meaning? Meaning that their are a couple of options on the table now:

1. Sonics win trial, wait a few months to settle the financials, wait for the inevitable appeal from the city. Team plays 2008-09 season in Seattle.

2. Seattle wins trial. Team plays 2008-09 season and 2009-10 seasons in Seattle.

And so, it appears the only avenue available to Clay Bennett and David Stern for playing the upcoming season in Oklahoma City would be if they can dangle enough money in front of the city council to get them to agree on a buyout of the remaining two years of the lease.

I'm not sure what's less likely than slim and none, but a buyout is right there.

In other words, national media, quit saying the Sonics are as good as gone. I understand, you can't comprehend that a city would stand up to a professional sports team, quite frankly, I'm surprised myself. It just doesn't happen all that often. That said, I'll spell it out as easily as I can:

The Sonics will not be playing in Oklahoma City next season.

And somewhere in a dust-filled parking lot, Clay Bennett just punched his car.


chunkstyle23 said...

YES! Man, this rollercoaster ride never ends.

...Though when you think about it, that analogy doesn't work because the downward, twisty, upside-down parts of this ordeal have really sucked, whereas on real rollercoasters, doing crazy fast downhills and loop-de-loops is fun.

Sorry, I still have Disneyland on the brain.

AB said...

Yeah it's nice to have at least next season (where we can watch KD V 2.0 and B-Easy or Rose to go along with whatever other 5 picks Seattle makes / trades.

Also, as we've seen lately, a year is a LOT of time, and the momentum in this team stealing plot has only been slowing as time goes by.

Anonymous said...

Bingo, aron. Think about how much the entire picture has shifted in the past year, from an inevitability of the Sonics leaving to where we are now.

Anonymous said...

Although your "dusty" comment is amusing, if you look it up, Seattle's annual rainfall is surprisingly similar to that of Oklahoma City. And Clay is probably wearing quite a bit of raingear today, as it happens to be pouring.

Beyond that, there are still many options for next fall, some of which include the Sonics playing in Seattle. If the Sonics win, it will take an injunction to keep them in Seattle, as a jury trial will not require the team's presence. If they lose, they're right where they've always been. In Seattle until 2010 unless they can dangle enough money in front of the right people to make things happen. Who knows.

Unknown said...

YES! My day just got brighter (under another grey Seattle spring day).

The question is for next season... do fans take the high road and support the 'team', ie go to games, and show other potential owners the team is worth buying...

Or do get down and dirty and boycott the season, ie forcing as much possible financial loss for a sale to another (local please!) owner.

It's somewhat a Catch 22.

Anonymous said...

this was just the piece of good news I really needed today. and, yes, it's grey and rainy down here too (I'm currently transplanted outside of LA), reminding me of home, you know, where the Durantula will reign for at least one more season.
although, it also brings up some good questions a la what Ben mentioned...


Anonymous said...

Loser, is it not enough that Oklahoma City is taking the Sonics away from us, but now you're saying that your city is as rainy as ours? Is there nothing that you won't take from us? What's next, Oklahoma City has more depressed people per capita? You started the flannel industry? You invented grunge music?

I'm kidding, of course, but seriously, man, we can debate OKC vs Seattle until we're blue in the face, but Seattle will always win the precipitation battle. No contest.

Anonymous said...

If the Sonics win, it will take an injunction to keep them in Seattle, as a jury trial will not require the team's presence.

Per the PI article, this is true. Declaring the team here next season is jumping the gun a bit. Also, Ceis and Tom Carr have both mentioned recently that if buyout offers reached a certain level, they would likely be considered. The next couple of months could have alot of twists & turns.

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget, Howard Schultz' lawsuit is still pending, which would provide the needed injunction to keep the team in town. While I agree that there is a possibility the team might leave after the court date, that possibility is somewhere around the possibility of Hillary Clinton getting the Democratic nomination.

Anonymous said...

LOL - Wow, you must really be a believer of the Schultz suit. I seriously doubt that case will survive the motion to dismiss.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe the Schultz case will go to trial either, but think about it, it will be the end of June before the city v PBC trial is completed, and assuming the city loses (taking the OKC side for this assumption), now you've got to take, what a week, two weeks, a month to move the Schultz case along to the point where it is off the table? Now we're talking mid-July or even August. I can't see the team moving at that point, not with training camp starting within a month or so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that what happened yesterday means the Sonics are here forever, but I think the likelihood of them playing the 2008-09 season in Oklahoma City is very, very small. Which is why, of course, the PBC wanted this trial done in the spring, so that all the other machinations would have plenty of time to be played out in advance of the upcoming season.

Mr Baker said...

if Bennett won and moved the team without knowing what the financial damages were he would be stuck paying whatever the number was if it was freakishly high. He could not just move back and play out the games. Bennett did testify in Olympia in support of the Renton red herring Arena that the Sonics generate hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect (using multipliers) economic impact. What if the judge just takes Bennett at his testified own words and tag him for 200k, rather than that bs 26 million? He would be screwed.

Mr Baker said...

200 million, not 200k.
wow, I am tired.

Anonymous said...

Seattle itself is considered one of the rainiest cities for hours of rain but not total inches. (however the foothills and the Olympics get a lot more.)

OKC and lots of places in east get as much total rain as Seattle.

This is not widely understood but it is true.

They get their rain typically in far heavier and quicker showers.