Email reveals Sonics ownership group’s true intentions

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 10, 2008 : 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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