Bennett in the eye of Seattle storm
Team issues have consumed life of Sonics' chairman

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: February 4, 2008 at 7:38 am •  Published: February 4, 2008
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He's been called "Mr. Oklahoma City” and "The Big Uneasy.”

And those are some of the friendlier nicknames Seattle media types have used in describing SuperSonics chairman Clay Bennett.

He has three outstanding lawsuits filed against his Oklahoma-based ownership group, two coming from disgruntled fans, and the third and most significant filed by the city of Seattle to fight the Sonics' attempt to relocate to Oklahoma City before 2010.

Bennett, who very likely could soon become a hero in Oklahoma and hated in Seattle, recently shed a sliver of light on what his life has been like since he purchased the Sonics in July 2006.

While reflecting on his decision to join the NBA world in front of a crowd of about 100 at Oklahoma City University last Thursday, Bennett sounded like an owner split between bliss and buyer's remorse. He sounded like his heart could pump on either side depending on which day you catch him.

"The question I get asked a lot, well two questions, and the first is ‘What were you thinking?'” Bennett said. "And the second question is why did you (buy the team?) I think a lot about that because this work has consumed my life with all the travel and the effort.

"I love the work, but with the travel (I) miss my family and there's a lot of other things I could be doing.”

Bennett mentioned several things that have been difficult to deal with in the past 1½ years. He talked about managing the franchise's business operations while dealing with the various lawsuits and the team being in a state of limbo.