Yesterday, the Sonics were sold to a group of businessmen from Oklahoma lead by Clay Benett called Oklahoma Professional Sports whose sole goal was to lure a major franchise to Oklahoma City. Yet, during their press conference to announce the sale, the group maintained that it was not their intention to move the team out of Seattle. This is like a bunch of crackheads telling you they only want to look at the 50 vials of crack they just bought from the corner. Time to make your peace now, Seattle.
The provisions of the sale allow for the group to move the team after 12 months if no deal is made for a new arena with the city of Seattle. Despite the fact that the best offer the city could come up with was $198M for a new arena, Bennett is going to demand a $400M+ deal. To paraphrase Nick Hornby, that’s like making out with a girl, getting denied on second base and trying to steal third instead.
Despite all the denials (and there are plenty — Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz said during the press conference, “I believe strongly this new group has a commitment to staying, provided elected officials meet him halfway. I do not believe the team is moving.”), the Sonics will be in Oklahoma City by 2008.