Not too long ago we were hopeful that something could be worked out, we just needed time. Even back then there was a case building against Bennett, that he was building on his own, for Howard Schultz.
We didn't really need emails to see that he was not acting with good faith best efforts.
Liked in a post, in a thread, buried in the conversation, was a story from the Oklahoman, reacting from the Seattle PI, quoting Bennett (wrapped in a riddle), we have the thread that unravels a string of lies.
Thread: 1269 "Please E-Mail Tim Cies"
Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
May 30th, 2007 at 4:40 am
Clay Bennett talks about the relocation :/
"I couldn't get my hands around what good fortune, to have a team in that marketplace with a new facility,â€ said Bennett, the Oklahoma City businessman whose group purchased the NBA franchise last summer. "I really thought we would get a deal done. An extraordinary opportunity.
"But lately, I don't have those same feelings.â€
. . .
"My expectation and my belief is that if we leave Seattle, we're quite likely headed to Oklahoma City,â€ Bennett said from his office on the 31st floor of Oklahoma Tower. "But that decision has to be made with appropriate due diligence. We have to do that work. Just can't proclaim we're moving here.â€
. . .
"For now, without a building solution, it's our intent to play in Seattle and apply for relocation immediately after the (Oct. 31) deadline,â€ Bennett said. The Oklahoma City group agreed to give Seattle until Oct. 31 to produce an arena deal.
Even before the Sonics were sold, NBA commissioner David Stern said it was becoming apparent Seattle was not interested in keeping the franchise. Bennett said that now is becoming apparent to him, too.
Bennett cited a story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday that declared the loss of the Sonics would have a "negligible economic impactâ€ on Seattle and quoted deputy mayor Tim Ceis as saying, "In terms of our image as a city, I don't think (the Sonics' effect) matters â€” maybe it did 40 years ago when they first came here.â€
Bennett also saw KWTV's SportsBlitz on Sunday night, when Seattle sportscaster Gaard Swanson told Oklahoma viewers "nobody cares about whether the Sonics stay in Seattle.â€
Bennett said, "I really think that's a common, broad perspective. I'm probably as pessimistic as I've been. Not to say I've lost complete hope. We'll evaluate thoroughly any potential lead, but we're out of ideas.â€
Bennett said he understands the opposition to public money for a new arena but has to do what's best for his franchise. The Washington legislature declined to allow King County to vote for a proposed arena that would need $350 million in tax money, mostly from tourism taxes already in place.
"It may be that this proposal doesn't fit the Seattle marketplace at this time,â€ Bennett said.
Hence the Sonics are looking elsewhere.
Bennett said he remains concerned about Oklahoma City's long-term viability as an NBA market but has concerns about Kansas City, too, which already has two major-league franchises.
In conjunction with the NBA, Bennett's group is beginning to study both markets and that no other city is being considered at this time.
Bennett said the lack of broadcasting revenue is the biggest drawback to Oklahoma City, and probably Kansas City, also.
Bennett cited an old banker's saying: "Bad loans are made in good times.â€
In other words, another oil boom has Oklahoma City flush with prosperity.
"It won't stay like this forever,â€ Bennett said. "Will companies spend dollars in down times? We're testing all that.â€
But Oklahoma City's two-year support of the Hornets, plus the cooperative relationship between Oklahoma City government and business leaders, still makes OKC attractive.
"I think we'll get there,â€ Bennett said of deciding Oklahoma City is the best relocation site. "But we'll do so with involvement from the league.â€
In the same way that Bennett drove around Seattle, dreaming of the future, he also has driven through downtown Oklahoma City and entertained grand thoughts.
"I've thought about that for a long time,â€ Bennett said. "Years and years. Even as I've seen how well we've done, I see a lot more to come.
"Government and private business working together, working for the greater good. I believe in that concept as strongly as ever. It's what's setting Oklahoma City apart these days.â€
, Wed May 30, 2007, "Sonics begin relocation talks", By Berry Tramel Staff "Writer", Â©2008 Produced by NewsOK.com
Umm, ya, this doesn't help, nor does it really hurt the City of Seattle's case, since it is about terms of a lease. But the Schultz case, I just get the feeling that if these kinds of quotes are involved then maybe Howard Schultz has a real shot at taking the team back. This public admission that he is fishing in the OKC pond, coupled with the Schultz email two days before the team sale showing that they intended to move, or have a "sweet flip", is damning. The true intent would not have them the long-term owners in the Seattle market that they claimed to be, that they presented themselves to be to the former owners, prior to the sale.
Trying to get one arena deal done once, giving up (check, and check) is not quite enough, working on relocating to OKC with help from the league, with help from Oklahoma City?
I don't know, it kind of sounds like he is trying some place else, trying with another city when he wouldn't meet with Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, with help from the NBA. That just doesn't sound like good faith best effort, effort divided between waiting for something to fall from the Seattle sky, and actively engaging in relocation talks with Oklahoma City and the NBA, can not really be the best effort for the full year, can it?
I guess that it isn't too hard to assume they planned the move the entire time and engaged the NBA in that plan, assumption goes away in a hurry when piled on top of Aubrey McClendon's statement:
McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, came under fire after he told the Journal: "We didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle, we hoped to come here. We know it's a little more difficult financially here in Oklahoma City, but we think it's great for the community and if we could break even we'd be thrilled."
Based on the intentions of Bennett to contact the NBA it is likely that David Stern would have to submit to a deposition in the Schultz case, even if he somehow escapes telling the truth in the City of Seattle's case.
Stern is in for a penny, in for a pound.
By the way, in that thread I was "Stewie Griffin" posting about "scorched earth", smell it. Ah, good times. I was also Peter Griffin in other threads.