Any owner who threatens to hit the highway with his franchise is demonized. But the city he lands in usually escapes such scrutiny.
That would change if Oklahoma City bankrolls the Sonics’ move. OKC is not desperate. We lived a long time without the NBA, and we could live some more the same way.
Just because Bennett and Co. are old friends worthy of trust doesn’t mean they can have the city’s credit card. Every owner, every sport, wants to squeeze out the best deal for his franchise. That’s what owners do, shoot for the moon. Heck, that’s what Bennett’s doing in Seattle, asking for a $500 million arena.
Oklahoma City should do all it can to prep for an NBA team’s arrival, but it should not help pack the moving vans.
Simple as that. The city can promise facility upgrades and better lease terms, but going beyond that is out of the question. Or should be. And if there’s anything under the table that we don’t know about, let’s hope someone upends that table before Bennett’s Halloween deadline.