Clay Bennett owes $150 Million in damages if the team fails to move.
The legal battles in Seattle over the future of the SuperSonics are quickly becoming more complicated, more expensive and more unpredictable. Hard on the heels of a fight over an arena lease in Seattle and an attempt by former owner Howard Schultz to undo his sale to an Oklahoma City group in July 2006 comes the assertion late last week from Oklahoma City officials that they will expect more than $150 million in damages if the team does not move into their upgraded arena.
The Oklahoma City demands arrived in a nine-page, powerfully worded letter from an attorney for Oklahoma City's mayor and city council. According to the letter from city attorney Wiley L. Williams, current Sonics owner Clay Bennett has signed a series of interlocking contracts and leases with Oklahoma City that are legally binding and would result in enormous penalties if the team does not move.
Simply hilarious! Who needs TV dramas? We've got carpetbagger Clay and the good ole' boys club right here!
Is this the OKC version of the Rabbit Punch?
If it's worth $150M to OKC to have the Sonics not play a single season there, what is Clay thinking offering Seattle $30M to buy out of two years worth of the lease? I have to think this helps the city's argument, having another city put a price on this franchise not playing in their city. Of course the water is further muddled by the idea that OKC will come after anyone else who owns the team after Clay Clay to force them to move as well, but I don't know if that will stand up if it is found via Howard's lawsuit that Clay never took proper ownership of the team due to his violation of the original contract.