Thursday, July 3

Moving Along

drawin': Raf / writin': Pete

Amount of money spent by Clay Bennett to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City:

City of Seattle, June 2008: $45 million
Additional money, 2013: $30 million
Relocation fee: $30 million
Losses, 2007-08 season (est.): $20 million
Losses, 2006-07 season (est.): $20 million
Moving fees (est.): $15 million
Legal fees (est.): $2 million

Add it all up and you come to a total of $162 million.

Why is this important? Because the cost of renovating KeyArena is now pegged at around $300 million, but, back when the team was sold, Howard Schultz was looking to spend about $225 million to renovate the building. After purchasing the team, Bennett indicated – repeatedly – that he had no interest in contributing any of his own money to the project (which eventually morphed into a completely new arena in Renton, at a price tag of $500 million).

And yet, Bennett has now committed more than half of that total just for relocating his new toy to Oklahoma City. If Bennett had just offered two-thirds of that figure - $100 million – while in Olympia fourteen months ago, yesterday would never have happened, and the state would have easily passed the bill to either build a new facility or renovate KeyArena. Further, by indicating that he was interested in helping the team, the miserable attendance figures of the past two years would have been considerably better.

Instead, Bennett kept his money in his pocket, because all along he had no interest in doing anything to keep this team here and a major interest, obviously, in getting a team for Oklahoma City.

$162 million goes a long, long way in this world. Apparently, though, just not in Seattle.



Paul said...

That's one of the saddest/funniest cartoons I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and every word I'm thinking right now I probably shouldn't say out loud!

Anonymous said...

Yeah what he said.

Anonymous said...

Whiskeychainsaw is my new hero. I say that without an ounce of sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. It is not to late to jump on the OKC bandwagon. Let's start brainstorming names...

89ers?(denotes our great land run of 1889)
or the OKC Toby Keith's????

No real fan of the Sonics/OKC team would depict them as an old dying dog. You didn't deserve Kevin Durant!


Anonymous said...

I'm a Detroit sports fan that shares in your outrage, Seattle. A part of your lives has been stolen from you, it's simply unforgivable. Greedy players are one thing to put up with, but greedy owners who have the power to rob an entire city is just too much.

Shame on you, David Stern, for letting this happen. Shame on any NBA owners who were in support of this move.


Anonymous said...

I like Gary Payton:

Also, I live in Norman, Okla., just south of OKC. I feel for you guys but hell, business is business I suppose. We'll just see what happens. I've followed Payton and the Sonics for a long, long time. I'm just happy he gets to retire his jersey in Seattle with you all.

Thanks for this blog.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, Richard. You come to a site devoted to the Sonics, where the overwhelming majority of readers are devasted by what happened the day before. The team they have followed for decades has been stolen from them, through no fault of their own.

Your response to that is, "business is business I suppose." And then, to top it off, you pimp your website.

It's one thing to be callous, but to be callous and then expect people to visit your site? Wow, that's pretty ballsy.

Anonymous said...


First, let me say I do feel for you guys, since I, too, am a Sonics fan. I grew up admiring Kemp and Payton, and they helped me form my love for the game. I can't imagine how you guys feel, as individuals or a community. I said "business is business" because that seems to be what it boiled down to, as a number of posts on this Web site have indicated in so many words. I wasn't saying it in any rude sense, just calling it how I see it.

I think a lot of people, though, see it that way. What this all came down to is the business of things — the money. Sad, but it happens.

Again, I feel for you guys. I feel for the players who had homes and families there, the fans and everyone who has invested emotion upon emotion into the team. This situation does suck, even for a Sonics fan living 10 minutes from Oklahoma City.

I meant nothing ill by the "business is business" statement. It's just how I see it, though I may not completely agree with it. If you catch my drift.

As for "pimping" my site... I wouldn't say I'm doing that. I get nothing from the site other than satisfaction that people might enjoy it, too. I definitely don't make money of it, if that's what's being implied.

Hope I cleared some things up. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that could make this worse is if we get the Bobcats in five years. And as much as I love them, I'd feel bad about taking the Hornets.

Well OKC, enjoy your new team. Sam Presti seems to know what he's doing, and Durant is a really good kid. It's ironic, ever since Nate left--which was the final straw for a lot of Sonics fans--we've been hoping someone who actually cared about basketball would buy the team. It's just too bad they had to be from out of town.

Oh, and I hope David Stern dies in a fire.

Anonymous said...

So, can can us OKC folk have this blog? That would be mighty kind of you.

I don't know what our new team name is going to be, but I do know Seattle is working on a new city slogan

Seattle, where bandwagon's are born


Seattle, we only want support teams when they win or when they threaten to leave.

Those are some starters

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Richard. Admittedly, we're all a little touchy today, so you can understand how I would interpret someone from Norman saying "business is business" as a little bit callous.

Anonymous said...

Joe, go apologize to a Cherokee or something.

See, the thing is you are working against the grain, and on top of it you simply aren't that witty.

In fact, you are pretty much a perfect representation of what we see to be the standard stereotypical oakie. Lacking grace, charm, or wit-- applaud yourself, you are a modern day philistine.

After you are finished given yourself a pat on the back for seeming wit, why don't you lower that hand about 18 inches and give yourself a little shocker.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts as to how much money the city has spent on this nonsense? Granted, it works out as a plus because of the money from the PBC, but it would be nice to tie in the $5 to $10 million in legal fees, etc. they've wasted on this with the $162 mil. from Bennett.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Man, you guys sure aren't very nice. Are you guys upset about something?

Maybe David Stern got this kind of hospitality last time he was in town.

How are the Seahawks lookin this year ? Steven Alexander should have a breakout year!

PN said...

I understand that people are angry at Oklahoma commenters and their lack of empathy, but enough with the d--- jokes, already. If you have something worthwhile and relatively clean to say, by all means make a post. Otherwise, please keep it to yourself.

Anonymous said...

A question one of my friends asked me, who are you guys going to root for now? trailblazer's?

Anonymous said...

At this point, I'm rooting for Howard Schultz' lawyers. I'm thinking of ordering a Sonic jersey and putting "Yarmuth" as the name on the back.

Anonymous said...

How will OKC residents afford NBA ticket prices as well their daily crystal meth fix?

EngineerScotty said...

A tribute to the I-5 rivalry, at BE.

Hopefully, when Obama wins the election this fall, a bill will get introduced into congress imposing a special federal tax--ideally 100%--on any inducement from a local government or municipality to a sports franchise. That would put a stop to the subsidy game rather quick.

pg said...

I swore with the last "War & Peace" length post that it might be my last post here.

Guess not.

I just watched on ESPN's Around The Horn as Bill Plaschke, Tim Cowlishaw and Kevin Blackistone all said that the "Team Formerly Known as the Sonics" will be BETTER OFF in OKC.

Plaschke quickly dismissed the topic, saying "Where were all of these fans when this team was 28th in attendance this year?"

Uhhhhh, gosh, Bill...the team was purposefully gutted to destroy the local fan base...AND was the worst team in the league...all the while, it was clear that any money spent on the team was going to owners who everyone knew was about to take the team to another town.

That's hard for ANY telemarketer to sell.

Plaschke then basically dismissed the entire legacy of the Sonics saying, "All they could manage was one championship in 41's no great loss."

Both Cowlishaw and Blackistone brought up how "stable" the economy of the OKC area is, thanks to the oil industry.

The mind reels.

...and the only person who said that moving from Seattle to OKC would be a bad thing...Woody Paige.

Jesus. With friends like that... :(

And, thanks to his stand, Woody was the first eliminated today.

Here's the thing. This wasn't the first topic of the day...or the second... This was a quick throwaway question in the second segment.

The nation never got what this story was really about...they'll never understand why we feel like we do. Until it happens to them.


PS--According to Rob Stone, the two names likely will be: Oklahoma City Bears or Oklahoma City Thunder.

I'm still holding out hope for "Bandits" though. Embrace your evil, OKC. It's marketable.

Anonymous said...
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mcwalter44 said...

Man... this sucks

As for rooting for another team. There is no way in hell I'm rooting for the Trailblazers, even if Allen moves them up I-5 to the 206. I hate the teams, the city of Portland and it's terrible, far weather, bandwagon like fan base.

pg said...
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Anonymous said...

When is the official announcement to see if OKC gets to take the history and the Championship with us? Man, the trophy would be a nice paper weight for Clay or Aubrey.

pg said...

...and then, JA new national media hero...comes on and strongly presents the Seattle fan's case as the FIRST TOPIC on Pardon the Interruption.

Jay Mariotti is a jerk...not as much as Plaschke.

I wish Kornheiser and Wilbon hadn't been on vacation though.

EngineerScotty said...

Given the language in some of the posts, one wonders what someone has to say to get a post zapped.

At any rate, one cannot accuse Portland of having fair weather fans. Like Seattle, the weather here in Portland is NEVER fair during basketball season. :)

Anonymous said...

"Given the language in some of the posts, one wonders what someone has to say to get a post zapped."

Well, apparently you can trash Oklahoman, but say one tru thing about the state of washington and that will do it.

I am really lookin forward to the Oklahoma/Washington game this season.

Anonymous said...

PN, I'm sorry about the language but I'm a hair displeased and more than satisfied to vent.

My only wish at present is that Joe would mosey on over here to Denver (where I live) and we could debate the relative merits of the tensile strength of my knuckles versus his orbital bones.

Follow other teams? Not a chance. The NBA is as dead in my eyes as a gay son would be in the eyes of Aubrey McClendon.

Go Seahawks, Go Mariners, Go Sounders, and Go to Hell Oklahoma City.

Wait, you're already there, you are just in denial about it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Joe, it's TRUE. With an "E" at the end. Spellcheck, look into it. Or 6th grade. Either or.

Anonymous said...

Threatening to kick a kids butt over the internet.

Stay Classy Sonics fans!

Good luck getting a team!

Anonymous said...

Spell check....I think Clay used that to make sure all the typos were out of the agreement.

And it is spell check, two words genius.

EngineerScotty said...

The business of basketball is an ugly thing. (As is the business of all sports).

The game of basketball, remains beautiful, however.

If you can't bring yourself to follow the NBA anymore--even if Seattle were to get a team, there are still a few options for ya to get your fix:

* College ball. You have some fine programs up in Washington State, including one there in town in Seattle.
* International ball. One of the nice things about youtube is you can see the Euroleague close up. It's a different style of ball than the NBA, but it's getting quite good now.

But still--when you get dumped by a beautiful girl, it's often the case that you don't want to see any women for a while. It's the same way with sports. Be careful, you may fall in love again.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't threatening to kick your butt. I was interested in a science experiment that I would derive particular pleasure from executing.

But, that being said, my suggestion of passing 6th grade was actually one that you will look into then?

Anonymous said...

Sure, thank you sir. Coming from a 32 year old man that still listens to faith no more.

More life advise please....

Anonymous said...

Scott, well said.

But as a former college basketball player my love for basketball will never go away. My love for the NBA however, will never return.

Basketball paid some of my college. It took me across the western US, Australia and Germany. It has always been a seductive and beautiful mistress.

The NBA however, has long been an ungrateful trophy wife. The relationship is no longer tenable, and she has chosen to leave for what I know in the long run is a lesser situation instead of going through counseling and making it work.

So be it. I recently realized I do not have a single piece of Sonics memorabilia (minus a rolled up life sized Dale Ellis poster).

Am I bitter? Certainly. Do I see young Joe as a rival to be crushed? Absolutely. Nothing personal Joe.

The thing is, if she begged me back after her infidelity, I would not have it. I'm done with that dysfunction, and as sad as I am I see it as for the best. And Joe, you can have her. 10 years from now you're gonna hate what she does to you. 20 years from now, when you are around 30 and put in all those years loving and caring for her and she finds a new "Joe" hopefully then you will understand what we're going through and realize the lack of couth in your postings here.

Anonymous said...

"lack of couth in your postings here"

Some of your words,

"Joe, go apologize to a Cherokee or something."

"Go home, sit in your trailer, enjoy your PBR and dirty stained wifebeater t shirt. I think Jerry Springer is on. Better fix those rabbit ears so you can get it to come in clearly."

And you are freakin Shakespeare or something? Get over it, though this is a sad day for fans of what was the Sonics, you lost the team two years ago and again when YOUR state legislature and city couldn't get a deal done. Call us theifs, call us barons, call us whatever...
This day is as sweet to us as it is sour to you.


Anonymous said...

I am done taunting. This is been a long 24 hours for everyone.

good article there.

Unknown said...

Hey guys..can we do this?

TrueHoop reader Kris points out that when the Expos left Montreal, their retired jerseys were lifted to the rafters by the other local professional teams. Wonder if the Mariners or Seahawks would do that.

Anonymous said...

And therein Joe, lies the problem. YOU are too young to realize why the day shouldn't be sweet to you. When one person's heart is breaking you should have sympathy and not do anything to "rub it in" regardless of your own elation.

Ever seen the movie Major League. Remember when Jake Taylor tells Willie Mays Hayes not to celebrate around guys that just got cut? Go outside and celebrate. Don't cheer in here.

We're in a wake. Just because you got a large inheritance doesn't mean celebrate in front of us. That Joe, not my words that were somewhat coarse in nature, was the lack of couth.

And with that, I'm done. If you want to add a last word, fine. Enjoy your seeming victory. But be polite and go do it somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Joe says: "More life advise please...."

Here's some "advise," Joe: Learn how to spell.

1) It's spelled "advice." "Advise" is a verb.

2) It's spelled "thief" or "thieves," not "theifs." Remember, "I before E except after C." You don't have to be Shakespeare to be able to spell words with one or two syllables.

3) It's "bandwagons," not "bandwagon's." An apostrophe signifies possession, not plurality.

There are many more, but I hope you get the point. In the future, if you are going to taunt people behind your virtual shield, you might want to make sure that you do so with proper spelling and punctuation.

Regarding the so-called "substance" of your posts, I think whiskeychainsaw provided a good (if a little over the top) rebuttal. And when you pick a team name, make sure you spell it correctly.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this really sucks. As a former Vancouver Grizzlies fan, I feel your pain. We had that weasle, Heisley buy the team, sing O Canada at the 1st game then proceed to stab us long suffering fans in the back. That's where the comparison ends as the Griz were a horribly managed franchise. The Sonics had a lot of good years, great players, great fan support. After the Grizz left, I lost all interest in the NBA. I certainly wasn't interested in following their progress once they'd moved to Memphis. The only thing that's brought me back to watching the odd game or two is Steve Nash.

Anonymous said...
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PN said...

I don't mind cursing, but when 1/3 of message's content is f---, well, that's pretty lame. Also, I'm not a big fan of people wishing other people to die.

Seriously, it's basketball, people; it's not as if Clay Bennett invaded Iraq or something.

Anonymous said...

It's probably healthy for everyone to vent their anger.

Anonymous said...

Other than for the obvious, money, what else is there that would attract any free agent to Oklahoma?

Jeff said...

I came here to issue a heartfelt apology for what Clay Bennett did to you in the name of the people of Oklahoma City. You can surely understand that, naturally, we in Oklahoma have long wanted a major league franchise (we built the Ford Center for the NHL team that became the Nashville Predators). Many feel that having a big league franchise would help to alleviate the view that much of the country (including many of the commenters on this blog) has about Oklahomans as provincial, “Slag off cunts, fucknuts, hicks, rednexx [sic], thieves, flatlanders, horse fuckers” (whiskeychainsaw) who need their “daily crystal meth fix” (Ryan). We’re naturally tired of hearing about our “market size” when we live in a city with a larger population than Atlanta, New Orleans, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Miami, and Minneapolis (Census Bureau 2005 estimate), all of which have major league franchises, many of which with stars much bigger than KD. So we wanted –even needed- the recognition that comes from having a team.

Yet, admittedly, it feels empty. I wonder how easy it will be for me to root for a team owned by Judas and his thirty pieces of silver. It’s a little embarrassing that people here are so excited to have gotten the team so early and that Bennett is a local hero. Frankly, if Bennett had stayed until the lease was out then left, I wouldn’t feel too bad. It would be easy to say, “that’s what Seattle gets for putting six Starbucks stores within a mile of my house to steal my money.” But that’s not how I feel. I feel dirty. We are good people here, but I am afraid our desire to get something we wanted has blinded us to what it has costs others. It’s unfortunate that this is such a constant human trait. After all, even Seattle was stolen from Native Americans by the Denny party after they landed at Alki Point.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, my comments represent an air of frustration that you cannot come close to comprehending. Building a stadium and not having a team locate there is not the same as having a team for 41 years and have it taken away.

In addition, on my terminology in regard to your city/state, you have to understand how many jagoffs we've had come here and rubbed in the recent events.

A single person would be too many, and there have been many more than that.

I'm extremely disappointed. When some oakie comes on our site and rubs it in, I'm going to go off on you folks and not just Clayton Bennett, David Stern, and the NBA in general.

"We are good people here, but I am afraid our desire to get something we wanted has blinded us to what it has costs others."

And what it has cost yourselves. The NBA is on a track to failure, and you just bought a first class ticket with public money to subsidize stadium renovations.

Have fun with that.

But, in any regard, thank you for coming here and NOT being a complete douche. I know there are a few good people in your city, we all do, but unfortunately the bulk of those that have come to this site of OUR SEATTLE SUPERSONICS have only helped to further perpetuate our stereotypes of you and our hatred due to recent events.

My inclination is to say that despite your even keeled words I'm still going to hate everything that has to do with Oklahoma for a long long time.

Jeff said...

Fair enough. But please spell okie correctly. If you are going to be obstinate, at least be correct.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Sonics fans...

You are cordially invited to pull for the Portland Trailblazers with Coach Nate, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster & Co. until Mr. Coffee's crime is righted by market forces and a new Sonics is reborn...

is the best Blazer fansite.



Anonymous said...

Spellcheck doesn't catch Okie/Oakie. I thought an "a" magically appeared there. Again Jeff, as far as Oklahoma posters go, you have been quite classy. It really makes it hard for me to be venomous toward you.

Tim, you are cordially invited to NOT watch a Blazers game with me at any time. Until the day the Sonics in Seattle are a team again, I will never intentionally watch an NBA game.

Anonymous said...

You know what's something I don't get? I don't get why people think the Sonics leaving to OKC has anything to do with OKC. It's not about them. It's not about OKC, or the people there. It's about the decisions that were made on purpose by the people who had the power to keep the team in Seattle.

If I was a Sonics fan (and I'm not) I would be upset about the following things:

1) David Stern announcing in a NBA address during the All-Star game no less (a supposed time of celebration) that the reason the NBA given up on Seattle because stadium's were purchased for the Mariners and Seahawks, and that there was money appropriated for the University of Washington. I for one never understood this, and do not understand this. If anything the NBA made a long term mistake in how it deals with this type of situation. The owners don't see it though, and they should. In a few years they will though.

2) Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett's, The Washington Legislature (starting with Gregoire and Chopp), and the Seattle city leadership starting with Greg Nickels. They all failed badly, and no matter what anyone else says, besides David Stern's dirty grubby asshole hands all over this transaction, it's a lose-lose day for everyone. The Sonics were the oldest original franchise on the West Coast. That is until they left last week.

3) The fans get screwed because they didn't openly vote for a new arena 10 years after voting for one. That's the part that really has to hurt. That and the 41 years of history in the region. That 41 years doesn't go away because another region is overjoyed to finally have a team.

Anonymous said...

You know what I don't get? How anyone can think that the Sonics leaving can have nothing to do with Oklahoma City.

It does have to do with them and the fact that they and their "champion" Clay Bennett were willing to come in and steal the team (despite his lying and pretending to want to keep it in Seattle.)

It does have to do with them as they passed a stadium funding vote by a somewhat narrow margin despite Clay Bennett's very large funding of political ads supporting that vote. They vote the funding down, Clay doesn't get to move the team right now...