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Howard Schultz Filing Suit To Rescind Sale Of Sonics To Bennett
Published April 15, 2008
|Schultz Seeking To Have His
'06 Sale Of Sonics Rescinded
Stern Says That He Feels Sonics Owners
Have Been Negotiating In Good Faith
ROCK THE VOTE: In Seattle, Johns & McNerthney report the NBA BOG Thursday or Friday will meet in N.Y. and is scheduled to vote on Bennett's request to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City. A spokesperson for Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said that she is drafting a letter to the NBA "that will be co-signed by numerous political leaders in the state in an effort to present a case for keeping the Sonics in Seattle." The relocation also is contingent on a trial between the city of Seattle and the Sonics' owners or "some other sort of resolution of the KeyArena lease." Meanwhile, the Sonics yesterday sent a letter to season-ticket holders, indicating that "no renewals will be accepted until the team's future is clarified" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/15). Meanwhile, the Oklahoma House of Representatives yesterday approved a measure that would give Sonics owners "financial incentives" if the team relocated. The state Senate is expected to take up the measure later this week. The bill would "expand the state's Quality Jobs program to include major league teams," which would amount to about $4M annually for the Sonics (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 4/15).
REAX: In Seattle, Jerry Brewer writes Schultz's "dire attempt to right his wrong is the longest of all shots. And though he probably won't admit it, he's motivated in part by a desire to suppress fan anger. If Seattle becomes an NBA ghost town, he doesn't want to walk around fearing for his coffee beans" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/15). Suns President & COO Rick Welts, formerly Sonics Dir of PR, said of the Sonics' situation in Seattle, "It breaks my heart, but at the same time I understand it. But even if the team leaves, I believe there will be another NBA team. It would be the most attractive (U.S.) city not in the NBA." Welts added: "If an arena is built, I just think the market would be incredibly attractive for another NBA team. But that's my heart talking. There's not much I can do about it professionally." Welts said of Stern, "It's a subject I don't discuss with him because it's too personal for me" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/15).