Items to which the Sonics objected in the pre-trial order (PDF found via Eric Williams’ blog at the TNT):
“The 2006-07 season marked the Sonics 40th anniversary in Seattle.”
“The Sonics won the NBA championship in 1979 ...”
“The Sonics are part of the Sonics & Storm Foundation which supports community programs that teach, encourage and motivate children.”
“The earth revolves around the sun.”
“The Foundation recently awarded $10,000 in scholarships .. [as part of] the newly named Dennis Johnson Memorial Scholarship.”
“The Sonics actively supports [sic] the NBA’s Hip to Be Fit Program.”
Okay, I made up one of those, and, to be fair, the Sonics are not objecting to the veracity of those statements, they are objecting to their relevance to the trial. Still, you have to admit the humor in a team objecting to the phrase “The Sonics won the NBA championship in 1979,” if only on a Rumsfeldian level.
Speaking of enjoyable pieces of information, the order also reveals the city will be calling Andrew Zimbalist as a witness. Zimbalist, an economist, is best known for his intricate explorations of sports from an economic perspective, and is often cited by anti-stadium activists for his arguments against the economic benefits of building new stadiums. The fact a city is using Zimbalist in a court case – a gentleman who has argued so effectively that cities are foolish to think that stadiums will cure their economic woes – is more than a little ironic.
Other witnesses slated to testify include Clayton Bennett, James Donaldson, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Aubrey McClendon, and the NBA’s Joel Litvin. There is no information in the order as to whether David Stern will be required to testify.
Among the pages of evidence to be presented is an email from McClendon to KM8881@ aol.com, with the subject heading “The Oklahoma City Sonic Boom (or maybe Sonic Boomers!) Baby” and another email from “Steve Balimer” [sic] to Clay Bennett (from February 2007).
As in all legal proceedings, the order is heavy on details and light on enjoyable reading, but it still serves as yet another essential piece of the future of the Seattle SuperSonics.