Hornets owner George Shinn is hopeful the Sonics and the city of Seattle reach a deal that will keep the team in Washington.
But Shinn, in a telephone interview with The Oklahoman
on Saturday, also said he wouldn't be opposed to voting in favor of the team moving to Oklahoma City if Sonics chairman Clay Bennett applies for relocation next month. Shinn would favor the move only with the NBA's recommendation should the decision come down to a vote of the league's owners.
"Nothing is up to vote on, so I can't comment on that,” Shinn said when asked how he would vote. "And if I were to vote, I don't know if I would tell you anyway.”
Shinn, whose Hornets will be in town to open the preseason against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday at the Ford Center, is one of 30 NBA owners who would have vote on the move. A majority vote is needed to allow a franchise to relocate.
"The bottom line is, what would happen if that comes up is the NBA would put together a complete package that explains to you what's going on and why,” Shinn said. "They would just get down to the bottom line and say, ‘This is our recommendation, but you have a choice to vote the way you want to.'
"I normally vote the way the league recommends because after reading all of their information, they usually come up with sound information. So I would leave it up to the NBA.”
Shinn said he's pulling for Bennett and his Oklahoma-City based ownership group, having gone through a similar dispute with the city of Charlotte when it refused to build his team a new arena.
"All I can say is you feel like you're doing something right and you're dealing with the bureaucrats who feel like they're doing things right,” Shinn said, "and you find yourself between a rock and a hard place and it's difficult to maneuver.