The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 February 2006

Fallback position

Yours truly, engaging in some guesswork a couple months ago:

If the Hornets return to New Orleans, as everyone involved swears they will, this is the most likely spot the Sonics will end up: team support here is running well beyond original expectations, and NBA Commissioner David Stern would much prefer to have another team move here than to deal with angry Hornets fans in Louisiana.

Stern, I suspect, has modified his position somewhat, if only because he's figured out that sending the Hornets back to New Orleans is going to cost a lot more money than any conceivable buyout. He's not crazy enough to say so, though.

With that in mind:

Clay Bennett, a prominent businessman who led a group of corporate investors that lured the displaced New Orleans Hornets to Oklahoma City, said he is watching with interest the political proceedings involving the Sonics, the Seattle City Council and the Washington State Legislature.

Bennett is keenly aware of the strife building between city officials and the club, which seeks a taxpayer-funded $200 million for renovations to KeyArena. He also read the comments from principal owner Howard Schultz, who said last week that Sonics owners would be forced to sell or move the team unless they receive public assistance.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Bennett said that he has not been in contact with anyone representing the Sonics, but "we'd be very interested in those discussions and would pursue them vigorously."

Number of NBA seasons, 2005 through 2015, in which there will be no team in Oklahoma City: 0.

Update, 10 February: Bennett and Oklahoma Professional Sports LLC, the ad hoc business consortium that backed Oklahoma City's bid to host the Hornets from 2005 through 2007, have set up a corporation to seek an NBA franchise for the city, be it the Hornets if they stay, or another team should they go. Meanwhile in Seattle, Schultz is making noises about selling out.

Posted at 11:50 AM to Net Proceeds

A week ago, I would have labeled you a loon (albeit an affable one). Now that I've been to a game, I'm labeling you a prophet and building your next church.

It's spooky what shared mass hysteria can do to a man.

Posted by: Joe Goodwin at 1:21 PM on 8 February 2006

It's spooky what shared mass hysteria can do to a man.

Well, that explains why I can never get anything to happen -- I keep all my mass hysteria to myself.

Posted by: McGehee at 2:36 PM on 8 February 2006

Is that 'mass' as in 'a religious order of service' or 'mass' as in 'McGehee is densely packed'?

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 2:54 PM on 8 February 2006

Neither of which is to be confused with Mas hysteria.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:01 PM on 8 February 2006

.. or even confused with Hysteria.

Posted by: Mel at 6:16 PM on 8 February 2006

Definitely the latter, Dwayne. In fact, all my life I have been in search of my density.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:10 AM on 9 February 2006