NEW YORK—A federal judge ruled Monday that the NBA must release internal documents about the Seattle SuperSonics' relocation to Oklahoma City
During the 90-minute hearing in Federal Court, Judge Loretta A. Preska also said that should it become relevant, the City of Seattle could depose NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Seattle is suing the Sonics over the Sonics' lease at KeyArena. Seattle wants to hold the Sonics to the remaining two years of its lease, while the NBA owners have already approved the team's relocation request by a vote of 28-2. The Sonics have offered to negotiate out of those two years.
Should the Sonics lose their federal case, scheduled to begin June 16, the team would be forced to play until the lease runs out.
If the Sonics do not move prior to the beginning of the 2008-09 NBA regular season, the team will have to file another proposal with the league to move the franchise.
Early in the hearing, Preska sent the lawyers representing the Seattle and the NBA to the jury room to come to a resolution regarding which documents were fair game. She admonished the parties, saying, "(These discussions) should have already happened.”
After 10 minutes, the groups reappeared and said they had reached an accord. The NBA would allow Seattle to review internal documents regarding formal discussions the league and the Sonics owners held about the relocation process.