Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Supersonics’

SONICS ANNOUNCER QUITS JOB RATHER THAN MOVE TO OKLAHOMA

July 22, 2008

KEVIN CALABRO

Longtime NBA announcer Kevin Calabro has quit his job as play-by-play voice of the new Oklahoma City Thunder.

Calabro, who was the voice of the SuperSonics for 21 years, will stay in Seattle. He will be the new play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.

In addition to Sonics games, Calabro has also worked for TNT, TBS, Foxsports and ESPN Radio doing NBA games. He called the 2000 Olympics for Westwood One.

SONICS R.I.P.

July 7, 2008

 

 

 

 

THE SONICS ARE GONE: CITY OF SEATTLE SETTLES LAWSUIT

July 2, 2008

Seattle’s NBA franchise is officially moving to Oklahoma City. Immediately. The team will play it’s 2008-09 games at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

The SuperSonics made the announcement today following a settlement of their lawsuit with the city of Seattle. The settlement came just hours before U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was scheduled to announce her verdict in the city’s lawsuit against the club.

Under terms of the settlement, the city of Seattle will receive up to $75 million from Sonics owner Clay Bennett and his group. The city receives $45 million immediately. That money will be used to help Seattle pay off the remaining balance of its lease on Key Arena.

The city of Seattle will receive an additional $30 million if it is not awarded another NBA franchise by 2013 (either by expansion or relocation.)  The settlement also states that in order for the city to be eligible to collect the remaining $30 million, the Washington legislature MUST approve funding of the renovation of Key Arena. The NBA now says that a renovated Key Arena would be an adequate facility and meet league standards. That’s a 180 degree shift in their previous position. The NBA had said they needed a brand new arena and no renovation of Key Arena would be acceptable.

Mayor Greg Nickels says efforts are being made to put together a local ownership group to bring NBA basketball back to Seattle. A proposed ownership group is being headed by Microsoft executive Steve Balmer.

The city of Seattle keeps the SuperSonics’ name, logo and colors if they get a replacement franchise.

 The settlement does not effect a seperate lawsuit filed by former Sonics owner Howard Schultz. Schultz is trying to regain control of the franchise, saying Bennett acted in bad faith when he bought the club from the Starbucks founder. Schultz maintains Bennett never had any intention of keeping the franchise in Seattle. Schultz could theoretically go to court and get an injunction stopping the Sonics move to Oklahoma City. However, a federal judge has ruled that Schultz would have to post a bond as high as $40 million to continue his lawsuit.

Bennett says there is a clause in the settlement that requires the city to return half of the $45 million it has already received if a Schultz lawsuit prevents the Sonics from playing in Oklahoma City next year. Several reports stated that Schultz (though he will continue his lawsuit) has no plans to file an injunction preventing the Sonics move to Oklahoma City. Bennet says that move will start tomorrow.

SONICS TRIAL CONCLUDES

June 26, 2008

 

COURTROOM SKETCH OF CITY LAWYER PAUL LAWRENCE QUESTIONING SONICS OWNER CLAY BENNETT

The trial of the Seattle SuperSonics vs the city of Seattle ended today with both sides making their closing arguments to judge Marsha Pechman.

TYPICALLY FLATTERING PICTURE OF SONICS OWNER CLAY BENNETT

The city is trying to make the Sonics honor the final two years of their lease. The team wants to move to Oklahoma City immediately. The judge will issue her decision next Wednesday.

SONICS FANS STILL CARRY THE BANNER FOR THEIR SOON TO BE DEFUNCT TEAM

“SAVE OUR SONICS” EVENT IN SEATTLE ATTRACTS 1,000 FANS

June 17, 2008

 

FORMER SONICS XAVIER MCDANIEL AND GARY PAYTON LEAD A FAN RALLY IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE MONDAY

According to the Seattle Times blog, a crowd of about 1,000 fans gathered on the courthouse steps for a Save Our Sonics rally.

SONICS TRIAL UNDERWAY

June 16, 2008

SONICS OWNER SNIDELY WHIPLASH ENTERS A SEATTLE COURTROOM THIS MORNING

The trial of the Seattle SuperSonics vs the city of Seattle is underway. Sonics owner Clay Bennett entered a Seattle federal courtroom today amidst a chorus of boos.

Fans chanted “liar, liar” and “thief” as Bennett walked by what was described as a “small” crowd of Seattle fans.

In its opening arguments, the city reportedly argued “a contract is a contract” and called Seattle mayor Greg Nickels as its first witness. The city is seeking “specific performance” of its existing contract with the Sonics. The Sonics will make the contention that contracts are often broken with a payment of civil damages. The Sonics have reportedly put the value on the Sonics remaining lease at $10 million.

There was one piece of bad news for Sonics supporters. From the Seattle Times coverage of the trial:

 

Judge Marsha Pechman overestimated public interest in the trial. She allocated 44 seats and established a lottery in which anyone wanting to attend the trial needed to sign up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. for a court pass.

Only 15 passes were distributed.

The Sonics face another potential lawsuit from former Seattle owner Howard Schultz after this trial is over. However, in a potententially damaging decision, a judge has said Schultz may have to post a bond as high as $40 million in order to continue with his lawsuit.

SONICS TRIAL STARTS TODAY

June 16, 2008

 

The USA Today is calling it “one of the most anticipated trials in Seattle history.” That trial is scheduled to start today.

The city of Seattle is suing its basketball team, the SuperSonics, and owner Clay Bennett in an effort to stop the team from moving to Oklahoma City next season. The Sonics want to leave Seattle immediately saying they stand to lose tens of millions of dollars over the next two seasons if they’re not allowed to leave. The city of Seattle is trying to enforce the last two years on their Key Arena lease with the team.

The trial is scheduled to last six days and each side is being granted 15 hours to present their case. After that U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman will issue her decision. There is no jury.

In addition to an overflow number of regular media, the trial will feature live-blogging as a number of bloggers have been given press credentials to cover the trial. The court will also distribute 44 randomly selected courtroom seats to members of the public for each session by lottery.

The city and the local sports talk radio station are attempting to draw crowds to rally for the city and their efort to keep the Sonics. The group Save Our Sonics has arranged to bring in former Seattle players like Gary Payton and Xavier McDaniel to address the crowd.

Seattle mayor Greg Nickels is scheduled to be the leadoff witness at the trial today.

UNBELIEVABLE: SEATTLE MAN GETS SEX PRETENDING TO BE JEFF TURNER AND TODD LICHTI

June 4, 2008

THE FAKE JEFF TURNER

Today’s Seattle Post Intelligencer has a front page story about a Seattle man who lied to women he met on Craigslist about being an employee of the Seattle SuperSonics in order to get sex.

According to the P.I.:

For months, a Boston-area woman thought she was dating a Sonics front-office employee and former NBA player named Jeff Turner, a handsome, 6-foot-8 40-something who was polite, compassionate and respectful. She thought she had scored a figurative slam-dunk in the Internet dating game.

But when the man she was falling for suddenly left his Somerville, Mass., home and stayed away for three weeks, the woman became suspicious. A Google search helped her discover that this man was not Jeff Turner, but a habitual impostor who had been posing as a Sonics employee for the past several months.

The best part of the story is the man ADMITTED TO THE PAPER that he lied-in order to get laid,

 

“I am going to be honest with you. I don’t work for them…I lied to her. Does that mean I can go out there and represent the Sonics? No. Does that mean that I did it to get some (sex)? Absolutely.”

The man (who is 6’8″) reportedly also pretended to be former NBA player Todd Lichti.

I don’t know what’s more unbelievable 1) You can get laid pretending to be NBA bust Jeff Turner 2) You can get laid in Seattle pretending to work for the Sonics or 3) You admit the whole thing to the local paper AND pose for a picture.

THE REAL JEFF TURNER

THE REAL TODD LICHTI

 

SONICS OWNER HASN’T HEARD OF DELETE KEY

May 28, 2008

 

Today’s Seattle Post Intelligencer contained more e-mail fun with Seattle SuperSonics owner Clayton Bennett.  Bennett’s correspondence with an Oklahoma based “consultant” is yet another e-mail exchange that has infuriated Seattle fans.

 The city of Seattle is suing Bennett over terms of its lease of Key Arena. Bennett wants to move his club to Oklahoma City as soon as next season. A court case between the warring parties is scheduled to start next month in Seattle. The city obtained a record of Bennett’s e-mails as part of discovery and are HAMMERING the Sonics owner over those e-mails.

 

 

In the latest e-mail fiasco Bennett was caught in a ridiculous exchange with an Oklahoma City consultant regarding Sonics players.

The consultant informs Bennett that Seattle players are reacting negatively to the team’s proposed move to Oklahoma City. Bennett e-mails himback,

 

“Boo Hoo.”

In another e-mail Bennett writes,

 

“(NBA commissioner David) Stern should take note and help us get out of Dodge [meaning Seattle] ASAP.”

The P.I. also has this,

 

Then there’s an e-mail from minority partner Aubrey McClendon to Bennett after McClendon was quoted in the Oklahoma Journal Record as saying the group never intended to keep the team in Seattle.

“Oh no. Just read this,” McClendon wrote. “Have I caused a problem for you. I am so sorry. The truth is we did buy it with the hope of moving to Oklahoma City.”

Honestly, if you’re the Oklahoma City owners how do you NOT delete that exchange? All of these Bennett e-mails (and a host of others) have been released by the city of Seattle and run in both Seattle papers. They are designed to make Bennett look like a lying asshole.

Mission accomplished.

Bennett may yet win his lawsuit against the city and be free to move his ballclub, but he’s AT LEAST going to be embarrassed in the effort.

HOWARD SCHULTZ OFFICIALLY FILES LAWSUIT

April 23, 2008

Starbucks chief and former NBA owner, Howard Schultz, officially filed a lawsuit Tuesday to rescind his sale of the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett.

In his suit, Schultz says Bennett lied to him by promising to keep the NBA franchise in Seattle.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, seeks to deprive Bennett’s group of “the fruits of its deception” by rescinding the sale, and described Bennett’s actions as “fraud.” Schultz and his co-owners never would have sold the Sonics if they thought the new owners would move them out of town, the complaint said.

Starbucks Corp. Chairman Schultz is asking a judge to hold the team in trust until an “honest buyer” can be found who will keep the team in Seattle.

Schultz decided to file his lawsuit after a series of e-mails from Bennett to his fellow Oklahoma City owners was printed in the Seattle Times. Schultz says those e-mails prove Bennett NEVER INTENDED to keep the Supersonics in Seattle.

Opinions are divided about the merits of Schultz’s lawsuit but legal expert Lester Munson of ESPN.com says Schultz may have a pretty good case. Munson also says those people trying to dismiss the Schultz lawsuit as a “publicity stunt” are wrong.