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Q&A with Mayor Mick Cornett: 'I think patience is the key word for us'

Published: November 3, 2007
Q: Oklahoma City is being heavily scrutinized for the Sonics filing for relocation here. Do you feel like you're expected to apologize for what's transpired?

Cornett: I almost feel like I need to say, ‘I'm not going to apologize.' There are only 30 of these franchises in the world. They're highly valued, and there aren't enough cities to go around. Ten years ago, we were on the other side of the deal with the NHL (bidding for an expansion franchise). That's the way it goes. General Motors shut down two years ago in Oklahoma City, not because we did anything wrong. It wasn't because vehicles weren't being built correctly. It was because of the worldwide demand of SUVs. That wasn't fair to us, but it was a business. People understand that businesses relocate. Businesses open and close and you deal with it. This happens all the time.

Q: How frustrating is all this anger toward Oklahoma City when the city didn't seek out the Hornets or Sonics?

Cornett: We never identified a team and went for them from the city's standpoint. What we did was everything we needed to do. We proved we could support a team, the Hornets, when they came here. It was November of 2005 when commissioner David Stern said we were at the top of the relocation list. So here's a team that's ready to relocate and they chose us. That shouldn't surprise anybody.

Q: Now what?

Cornett: I think patience is the key word for us. This (filing for relocation) is a step in the process. Gosh, I can't tell you how many times I've heard a franchise was going somewhere else, and they ended up not going anywhere.

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