Linguine with Clams

Categories: food — Tags: , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ April 20, 2008 : 8:53 pm

Linguine with clams

I have a secret to share. For years, I’ve have an affair with a blond Italian whom I meet with monthly over candlelit dinners. I’d describe our relationship as rather shallow; I imply my willingness to pay and the well-dressed escort delivers my Italian beauty to the table. We’re about to lock lips, when the attendant cheerfully asks, ‘Would you like some fresh grated cheese with that?’.

Yes, I’m talking about linguine. In this particular case, my simple and everyday linguine with clams recipe. Here’s what you need to get started:

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz packet linguine
  • 1 cup fresh cooked clam meat (about 3 pounds Manila clams)
  • 1/2 half and half / heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3T freshly chopped parsley
  • 3T butter
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1T parsley flakes
  • 1t oregano
  • 1t thyme
  • 1t red pepper flakes
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Boiling clams

Preparation of the clams:
When you buy your clams, make sure to buy the clams the same day you’ll be cooking or put them in a pot of salt water if you won’t use them immediately. Your clams will die if you leave them out of the water long enough, which is bad for both taste and health reasons. Before you start cooking your clams, push down on each clam to see if it clamps back down on itself. If the shell immediately bounces back, toss the clam – it’s dead.

Cooking the clams:
First, put the clams into a pot of salted water (use lots of salt) and cook at high heat until the water starts boiling. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until shells pop up. Do not overcook, or meat will turn rubbery and tough. Strain (you may save clam juice for chowders or broth) and then remove clam meat and set aside.

Cooking the pasta:
Bring large pot of water to boil. Be sure to add plenty of kosher or sea salt to pot. If you are not cooking clams and pasta at the same time, you can reuse strained clam juice to boil pasta. Cook until firm / al dente (should have tiny bit of white texture left in middle of pasta). Al dente is how most Italians cook and there are also health benefits of not overcooking your pasta (deals with how your body processes carbohydrates). Remove from water and drizzle with olive oil to prevent from sticking, if your sauce is not going to be ready soon.

Herbs and spices
Preparing the sauce
Combine butter, olive oil, white wine, garlic, heavy cream and squeeze half lemon (watch the seeds) into a sauce pot and cover over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes. Add parsley flakes, pepper flakes, thyme, oregano and salt. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mixing clams and linguine
Combining the ingredients
In a large pan, over medium heat, combine pasta, sauce and clams. Add fresh parsley and mix together. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove, plate and garnish with fresh parsley.

That’s it! Total cooking and prep time is around 30 minutes. This is a good dish for beginners, as it’s quick, tasty and almost impossible to screw up. It’s also completely open to variations, as recipes often include more cream, no cream, bacon, additional seafood or other spice combinations.

NBA approves the move to OK City

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 18, 2008 : 1:05 pm

The NBA owners approved a petition for Bennett’s Sonics (it’s not the Seattle Sonics) to move to Oklahoma City.

With a 28-2 vote for the move, only Mark Cuban and Paul Allen fought against the approval.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

It wasn’t a surprise that it won by a landslide vote for approval. The owners are too scared and too misinformed to vote against a move to OK City. The only thing that was surprising was the vote against the move by Paul Allen. Many people thought he would simply abstain from the vote as he is probably poised to rake in the territorial broadcast rights to the Northwest.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the history of the relocation from the last franchises to move: The Vancouver Grizzles and the Charlotte Hornets. In 2000, after a NBA player lockout, the Grizzlies reported that they had started to dwindle in attendance and money. After the team was sold to Michael Heisley, he filed for relocation and the NBA owners approved the vote to move to Memphis unanimously with a 30-0 vote.

The Charlotte Hornets dealt with a very unscrupulous owner such as the one the Sonics have right now. With attendance dropping, owner George Shinn demanded that the city build him a new arena completely funded through public money.

Sadly, the city finally succumbed to Shinn’s demand and included the construction of a new arena in Uptown as part of a larger arts-related package for the city. Initial polls showed that it was on its way to passage, but the mayor of Charlotte vetoed another ordinance that enraged the black community leaders who immediately opposed the referendum to build the arena.

With the referendum defeated, city leaders worked out a way for the arena to be built without the voters approval with the only caveat being that Shinn would have to sell the team. Shinn still filed for relocation with the owners approving the vote 29-1. The only dissenting party being Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Why is it that these votes seem to win with overwhelming approval? Simple. It’s an Ol’ Boys Club where no owner wishes to rub another owner the wrong way in case down the road they need support for their team in some type of way. “I can’t vote against this guy as I might need him down the road for something else.? Owners look out for the owners, no one else. The rare exceptions are the owners who look after their fans, i.e. Mark Cuban and Paul Allen. They are also the same people that have rejuvenated sagging franchises that have blossomed amidst mediocrity and controversy.

The most important question I keep asking myself is this. When was the last time the NBA owners voted against a relocation?

When Sonics Owners Attack!

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 17, 2008 : 3:12 pm

Let the mud slinging begin!

It’s been a rough week for Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club LLC. After having disclosed emails that have hurt the effort of their current lawsuit with the City of Seattle, former ownership group led by Howard Schultz has filed for a breach of contract lawsuit to regain ownership of the team. Specials about the Sonics situation has sprung up on ESPN, as well as other national media outlets. Bad publicity is the only thing that PBC seems to get nowadays, but in today’s headline, they decided to strike back.

The Seattle Times and the P.I. have reported that Bennett and his ownership group are accusing the City of Seattle of working in collusion with Matt Griffin and his partners. In the new federal court filing, Bennett’s attorneys are stating that it is a clear attempt to bleed the ownership group dry to force a potential sale of the team to Griffin’s group.

The filing has specific asked for Matt Griffin to be involved in the litigation and publicly disclose documents regarding the City of Seattle that have been redacted for the sake of relevancy and privacy. In a simpler sense, PBC is trying to dismiss the case of the city of Seattle, by proving they had “unclean hands.?

Unclean hands is a affirmative defense legal doctrine that states a party who is asking for assistance from the courts cannot received if it he or she has done anything unethical in relation to the lawsuit filed. If Bennett’s group can prove that the City of Seattle has conducted itself in unethical manner such as filling a lawsuit with the intent of forcing a sale of the team to a local buyer, then the courts would dismiss this case. That decision would ultimately facilitate the move to OK City very rapidly.

This new move darkens the already murky waters of the Sonics situation and if the federal judge does approve of these filings, more dirty laundry of the City of Seattle and its government officials may come to light. Liars calling out liars seems to be the most appropriate phrase for this new development as it will be interesting to see how Bennett’s ownership group can manage both lawsuits at the same time while facilitating the potential move to Oklahoma City. The lawyer’s clock is running and the pay rate is not cheap.

PCC Baking Class

Categories: food,seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ April 16, 2008 : 2:27 pm

Baked pastries
(From left to right: Rustic berry tart, Poppy seed poundcake muffin, orange cranberry scone and snicker doodles)

“Ouch,” I mutter, as I look at my thumb after nicking it on the carrot grater. It looks a little pink, but there’s no drippage. That’s good, because I’m sure the rest of the PCC Sweets and Treats baking class isn’t going to appreciate me modifying our carrot cake recipe to include a few drops of blood. Then again, my recipe sheet is splattered silly with a murderous orange color from the carrots I’ve been grating, so perhaps no one would notice anyways.

I look closer just in case. Awesome, no blood, no foul.

I wasn’t able to snap a picture of the oh-so-delicious frosted carrot cupcakes, as my hands were covered in all sorts of flour, sugar, carrot bits and other random baking ingredients that dissuaded me from shoving my hands into my pockets. With all the bakeries left over, most everyone grabbed a to-go box of goodies to bring home, so that’s what you see in the picture above.

Baking has always been a weak point in my culinary arsenal (I can make cookies?), so I decided to attend a class at PCC Natural Markets down in Issaquah. The class was a solid 2.5 hours from 6:30 – 9pm and completely hands-on, so I figured it would be a great way to ramp up my baking skills. We were given a recipe list of about 10 various items and put into teams to create each one, so it also turned out to be a nice meet and greet of sorts with strangers with the same love for food.

One of the first things I learned with baking is that it is definitely a science, as opposed to an art. That’s not to say there’s no creativity, but there is certainly procedures, measurements and scientific principles that apply to baking quite firmly before the experimentation comes in. Unlike conventional cooking, when a baking recipe calls for two cups of an ingredient, it’s quite important to use two cups – otherwise bad things can start to happen. Especially if we’re talking about flour.

Leavening is the holy grail of baking, as the rise of the dough and mixture is the difference between a tough rock or a soft, fluffy piece of heaven in your mouth. Common leavening agents include yeast, yogurt, butter, baking powder, baking soda and the act of creaming. Using any one of these methods is almost always required in baking pastries or cakes, which likely explains some of the failed mishaps I may have had in the kitchen before. Case in point, I generally reduce the usage of butter in my dishes for a more healthy approach, but I realize now that butter actually helps the dough rise in addition to giving it that savory taste, so I have to put in a leavening substitute for the butter as well.

Another important thing I learned is that my big silver bowl and a whisk isn’t going to cut it if I want to do any serious baking. A professional mixer turned a stick of butter and cream cheese packet into an instant frosting after about a minute of beating; something that would be impossible by hand, short of 10 cans of Red Bull to the tune of Chariots of Fire. That means have to go run to Sears, Bed Bath and Beyond and some other stores later this weekend to pick one up, so hopefully it’s not too expensive.

If you ever shop at PCC and wonder about the classes, I can tell you they are definitely worth it. Our instructor, Krista, was great and the setup they have is very professional. There were two assistants that circle around helping with the class and helping with prep work. Three big LCD screens display the two cooktops and the center preparation table so you can see all the action while sitting in your seat. The best part is that the price of the class is a mere $30 (for our baking class at least), while you get the enjoy food, learn and also have fun at the same time. It’s a great deal, so I’ll certainly be going back for more classes in the future.

A season finale to remember

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 14, 2008 : 4:55 pm

It’s been the worst season in Sonics Basketball. Posting a 20-win 62-loss record, the 07-08 Sonics have a secured the second worst record in the NBA, just behind the Miami Heat. As a 5-year season ticket holder, I was expecting the worst as I headed to the “Key? with my Dad. Visions of a half empty Key Arena to cap off the murder of one of my most beloved franchises in Seattle, would have been perfect for good ol’ Clay Bennett.

But the fans of the Sonics didn’t look at it this way. They came out in force to show Bennett, the NBA, and dare I say the world, that 41 years of basketball in a city would not die, at least not on this night.

As my Dad and I arrived at our seats, I looked around the arena it was a pretty packed crowd with a reported 16,272 in attendance for the game. There was a roar through the crowd in the first quarter that was hard for my Dad to discern. Confused, he leaned into me and asked, “What are they saying?? I immediately knew what they were saying and after soaking in the raucous crowd, my smirk ridden face replied. “Bennett sucks!?

After watching the 1st quarter, I went down to grab some food. Bennett and staff didn’t want to make what could be the last hurrah of the Seattle Supersonics a comfortable one. More than half of the concession stands at the Key were closed, funneling all of the fans into enormous lines for the overpriced food and beer. Little mutterings of “Bennett’s a slime ball? and “Gregoire dropped the ball,? could be heard through out the line. I myself was stuck in these lines, spending about a quarter of the game waiting for some chicken quesadillas and a cup of Dos Equis.

When my patience slowly changed to irritation I had to find some way to pass the time in line. As I looked up on the TV mounted on the wall, I saw the home team trailing by a significant amount of points. It looked liked the Sonics season would go out with a whimper instead of sonic boom.

But then it happened, a quiet rumble that rapidly grew into a roar that had all of us in line trying to figure out what had just happened. Then I saw it, or more precisely I saw him.

Gary Payton, the Glove.

Like myself, other people stopped whatever they were doing and stared at the screen. Then the camera faded in and lo and behold Payton was at the game. “GP! GP!? could be heard through out the entire arena. The drunk guy standing next to me uttered, “Holy $***, GP is at the game!”

By the time I had made it back to my seat, and the rally began. Behind the rejuvenated play of Earl Watson, the Sonics attacked the Mavericks. By end of the rally, the home team had turned a 9 point deficit into a 9 point lead.

As the teams battled back and forth for the lead, I looked around a starting soaking what might be my last time at the Key. Grasping for my camera, I took a few snaps of the GO SONICS banner and the Western Conference, Pacific, and Northwest Division banners. I even took the time to run (not walk) to Sonics Legends Drive and snap a few keepsakes of the retired jerseys and newspaper clippings of the 1979 Championship run. As the fourth quarter came around I sat down for one of the finest memories in my history as a member of the Sonics nation.

At the 2 minute mark, the entire crowd of 16,000 fans all got up for what could be the last 2 minutes of Seattle NBA basketball. With everyone on their feet, the noise was incredibly deafening. Key Arena looked just like it did during the great playoff runs during the 90’s. Sonics in a tight game against a playoff caliber team with every possession being crucial to winning or losing.

Then it happened.

With a driving play, Kevin Durant hit a 15 ft. jumper from the near the top of the key. The crowd erupted into a cheer that was louder then anything I’ve ever heard at a Sonics game. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought the Sonics just won the NBA championship. With the game in hand, nobody thought it could get any better.

It did.

While the referees deliberated, the crowed roared with three simple words: Save. Our. Sonics. In those three brief minutes, all the pride and love of the Sonics came pouring into the arena. Kevin Durant walked down the court stirring up the crowd waving his arms up. For the first time, Durant let it be known that he doesn’t want the team to leave Seattle either.

With the cheering, the appearance of Gary Payton, and the win, the finale of the home season couldn’t have ended on a higher note. Whether it’s the last game of the Sonics in Seattle or not, fans made sure that the NBA knew 41 years of basketball would not go quietly into the night. Sorry Bennett, you can take our team, but not the history, nor our love for it.

K1 Speed in Redmond (Seattle)

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ : 4:49 pm

K1 Speed in Redmond
(From front to back: Steve, Bryan and Grant)

Last Friday was, team building day (aka go-cart racing for the win). Previously known as Champs Karting, K1 Speed bought this indoor go-cart location in Redmond and revamped it with a new track design and a few extra doo-dads. Luckily, most everything else was left in-tact, meaning that it’s still the same fun electric cars that I am used to.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a regular (I go to K1 Speed just a few times a year), but I am a big fan of racing and have taken a few Skip Barber race classes back in the day. While a go-cart might not translate perfectly to the mechanics of a car in the real world, many of the fundamental concepts of how to drive fast are the same. It’s a great way to give the lead foot driver in you an outlet for escape , as opposed to being ‘That Guy’ on 520. (I’m talking to you, Blue 325i BMW driver weaving in and out of traffic on cell phone, not using signals, traveling at 90mph in the rain.)

Our first race was a nice introduction to the new track that K1 Speed laid out over Champs previous track, as it now boasted two hairpins for a more technically challenging course. Free tip though- tell your race staffer to be liberal with the passing flag if you plan on a competitive race. Bryan, Steve and I all quickly got stuck behind our friend Lenny, who was apparently taking the scenic route around the track. The K1 Staffer seemed reluctant to let us pass, as we forgot to give him the team building memo that explains rapport is best built with some friendly, obscenity laced competition.

The second race was much better, as it was just Steve, Bryan and myself, who were all ready to lay the pedal to the metal. And we did, as Bryan managed to spin out, Steve nearly lost it on turn 1 and I managed to sneak in a 17.33 second last lap, putting my time into the top 5% of times. The top score for the week was 16.22 seconds, so I think I could have shaved another half second with more studying and time on the track.

I don’t imagine going back for another few months, but if you decide to go, here’s a few pointers on how to drive fast and beat out your friends:

- Warm tires equals more traction, so build heat your first few laps
- Warm up your tires with some heavy accelerating and braking on the straight away.
- Brake into corners so you can accelerate out for top speed
- Try to drive in smooth arcs when possible
- Don’t hug the walls, it will actually slow you down
- Sliding around the hairpins is perfectly acceptable
- Too much sliding = No traction = No acceleration = Bad
- Learn to keep your car in the fine balance between control and no control

Lastly, always drive safe and keep the speed driving to the track.

Pictures from Mailbox Peak

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ : 11:01 am

Mailbox Peak
(Sawyer takes a break on top of Mailbox Peak)

Mailbox Peak
(A shot from the summit overlooking the Cascades)

Just a few shots from my hiking trip this weekend to Mailbox Peak, a 6 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3,996 feet. This may sound impressive, but these pictures were taken by my friend Richard, as I struggled most of the way up and surrendered with about an hour left before the summit. My year as a food reviewer flashed before my eyes, with the dozens of stored pork bellies, tiramisus and butter soaked entrees clamoring for a spot to put the final TKO to my legs and knees. For the uninitiated, let me tell you, Mailbox Peak is not for the faint of heart.

Bryan might have a more interesting post (or even article) on the merits of hiking prepared, due to a rather interesting series of events on the mountain. I would personally say that my lesson learned is to scout out your destination on hiking boards, print out topographical maps and consult other errata before embarking on your trip. Especially (oh do I mean this) if the difficulty scale consistently ranks as ‘most difficult’, 4/4 or 5/5 according to the experts.

The previous week, our group had gone to the ever-popular Mount Si, located right at North Bend. It’s an 8 mile hike with about a 3,500 ft elevation gain and while not ‘easy’ (at least to an out of shape food critic), it does have great views and a trail that is readily identifiable. Highly recommended if you’re just wanting a nice hike and are in decent shape. Little Si, just next door, is a better hike for those more recreational hikers or not-so-in-shape.

Howard Schultz, the Sonics savior?

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 11, 2008 : 11:14 am

On the drive to work, Dave Mahler from 950 KJR chimed in on the recent email disclosures of the Sonics ownership. Being the great optimist that he is, he entertained the idea of one person being able to keep the Sonics in the city of Seattle.

No, it’s not Steve Ballmer.

The person Dave “Softy? Mahler is referring to is a villain of sorts in the Seattle sports world. Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO and former majority owner of the team. All of this materialized because of the new emails that exposed the true intentions of Clayton Bennett’s ownership group. Softy brought up Schultz only interview with 950 KJR, where he disclosed some of the conditions of the deal that transferred ownership to Clay Bennett.

Schultz stated in his interview, “As part of the negotiation, I asked for something that was a deal breaker in negotiation. What I asked for was a side letter to our ownership group and to me…that said basically he would honor the four-year lease in terms of the 2010 terms, and use his best efforts over next 12 months…?

Softy is entertaining the idea that the newly revealed emails are a blatant breach of contract by the Sonics ownership group. In Softy’s ideal world, Schultz would sue Bennett’s group for breach of contract and regain ownership of the Sonics, then subsequently sell the team to Ballmer’s local group.

It terms of legal analysis, its not exactly a “slam dunk? case. There are lots of issues that would need to be explored. If Schultz group did entertain the idea of suing for breach of contract, it becomes an issue of determining if substantial performance was fulfilled, whether or not the letter is considered a part of that contract to sell the team, determining if and when Bennett’s group was discharged from its duties to the contract, and defining the concept of “good faith? in this particular situation.

Since the $350 million has already exchanged hands, Bennett’s group can merely take the stance of substantial performance since Schultz group has received a significant amount of what has been asked for by Bennett.

If in some off way, and that’s being extremely optimistic, Schultz is able to be a major cog in retaining the Sonics in Seattle, he would be able to climb out of the black hole that many Seattle-ites have thrown him into.

Of course, the idea of Schultz being the Sonics Savior is a little to hard to swallow for most fans. Maybe Softy is merely entertaining conjectures, but with the light so dim in the Sonics nations all options are starting to look like good ones.

Northwest Seafood @ Culinary Communion

Categories: food,seattle — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ April 10, 2008 : 2:05 pm

Zach of Culinary Communion

(Above: Zach, cooking instructor at Culinary Communion))

I had a great time last night attending a Northwest seafood cooking class at Culinary Communion located in Beacon Hill. It was a 3 hour adventure of chopping, boiling, juicing, cutting, mincing, washing, slicing and more importantly – tasting!

Our cooking class was led by Zach, new Culinary Communion instructor who just moved back from Vegas not too long ago after being sous chef at Guy Savoy (if I recall correctly) at Caesar’s Palace. His credentials also include being a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and chef at Cascadia in Belltown a few years ago. Zach is a great teacher and friendly guy, so he’s highly recommended if you ever decide to take a cooking course at Culinary Communion.

Salmon, oysters, crabs and clams

We started off the night with a huge table filled with fresh seafood that included whole Canadian king salmon, Manila clams, pacific halibut, Penn Cove mussels (plus two other varieties I forget) and live dungeness crab. Zach walked us through the varieties of sea life, methods of cooking and also great tips on places to buy seafood. He stated that for the regular consumer, Uwajimaya provides great, fresh seafood in addition to excellent prices. For whatever reason, I was never sure of the seafood at Uwajimaya, but I think I’ll give it a shot with Zach’s recommendation.

For those in the city, Zach also mentioned that while the Pike Place fish tossing troupes might seem like a tourist trap in terms of price gouging – they are more than willing to negotiate prices with locals if they think you know about the gig.

A couple of neat things that we learned about our various seafoods were that farm raised salmon will have white tongues as opposed to black tongues from wild salmon (go with wild salmon). For salmon (or any salt water fish), look for clear eyes as opposed to cloudy to gauge how long the fish has been dead. When preparing mollusks, press down on their lids and see if they retract and clamp back down. If they don’t, that means they’re dead and you should toss them out. An important tip- while you want to soak clams in water, do not soak mussels in water unless you want to kill them. Instead, cover mussels with a damp cloth towel and set aside until ready to use.

Salmon fillets

Among the dishes we cooked, the slow-roasted salmon was a big favorite. It featured a variety of simple ingredients such as butter, lemon, olive oil, herbs and wine, poured over slow cooked salmon fillets. Other dishes that we cooked included:red curry mussel stew, halibut seviche, New England clam chowder and biscuits, bucatini alla puttanesca (I am officially a new fan of bucatini), Peruvian ceviche and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls.

Bucatini alla puttanesca

I love the bucatini pasta because it’s a thick spaghetti like pasta that is hollow in the middle, providing more surface area for sauce delivery. If you’ve ever wondered why pasta is always shaped in odd, funny shapes, it’s all to provide extra surface area. The bucatini works great for this purpose and I can see lots of uses in the future for red and white sauce Italian cooking.

The amazing part is that most of these dishes were quite easy to make. With a dozen cooks of mixed skill, it was no trouble getting all the food prepped and cooked while coming out delicious. One of the teams forgot to add baking powder and soda to the biscuits, which caused them not to rise and turn out more like biscuitty chewables, but even then everyone had a good laugh and reached for seconds when it came around.

While I learned a whole lot from the class and Zach, the most important things I learned were:

- Uwajimaya is great for seafood.
- Use LOTS OF SALT when boiling seafood, pasta or blanching vegetables. Like, an entire cup of salt. This sounds scary, but in reality, it works great and won’t send your sodium intake through the roof.
- Ceviche is the easiest dish in the world.
- If your clan chowder is soupy, blend in a biscuit to add consistency.
- All fresh fish can be eaten raw; so don’t overcook that salmon.
- More butter the better, at least for biscuits.
- Shucking oysters is fun. Try it.

Email reveals Sonics ownership group’s true intentions

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ : 11:49 am

Jim Brunner of the Seattle Times has just reported that the Attorneys for the City of Seattle have revealed some shocking emails by the Sonics ownership group regarding the team’s future.

Through a series of emails that were sent after the final game of the 06-07 season, the public has discovered that the Sonics owners never had the intention of keeping the team in Seattle. If there was one movie quote that encapsulate the situation, it’s probably this one.

“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi…? –Darth Maul, Phantom Menace

The email recalls the conversation between Clay Bennett, Tom Ward and Aubrey McClendon, members of the Sonics Ownership group. In the above mentioned email, Tom Ward poses the question to Bennett and McClendon, “Is there any way to move [to Oklahoma City] for next season or are we doomed to have another lame duck season in Seattle?? Bennett replied, “I am a man possessed! Will do everything we can. Thanks for hanging with me boys, the game is getting started!? Ward and McClendon replied to his email vowing to do whatever they could to facilitate a faster move to Oklahoma City.

That was April 17th 2007.

Another email sent by Clay Bennett to David Stern on August 18th 2007, where he blatantly lies to Commissioner David Stern about having any conversations of relocating the team to Oklahoma City.

“ I would never breach your trust. As absolutely remarkable as it may seem, Aubrey and I have NEVER discussed moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City, nor have I discussed it with ANY other member of our ownership group. I have been passionately committed to our process in Seattle, and have worked my *** off. The deal for me NEVER changed: “
- Clay Bennett to David Stern in August

Apparently the word “never? and “any? has a different meaning Oklahoma City. The April 17th email contradicts his letter to Stern and proves that he did have every intention of moving the team, the first chance he got. Is this the so-called “good faith? effort that he pledged when he purchased the team from Schultz in 2006?

It will be interesting to see the ramifications in light of this new evidence. Will it cost the ownership group their Federal Court case? How will Stern react to the news that Bennett openly lied to him about his plans of relocation? Will the NBA owners not support his petition for relocation after hearing of his deceitful words to the NBA fans of Seattle.

As far as the Seattle public is concerned, the verdict is already out on poor Clay-Clay. He’s cast into the black hole of truly hated Seattle sports figures, but he shouldn’t be too lonely. A-Rod will be sitting right next to him.

Here’s a link to the Seattle Times article

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