Here comes the NBA
It’s not happening with a big boom. It’s a series of smaller cosmic events, which tempers the excitement. More of a boil than an explosion. But make no mistake what is happening. The NBA is on its way to Oklahoma City.
Listen to this Seattle Times quote from Seattle city council president Richard Conlin, concerning the Sonics’ $26 million offer to buy out the franchise’s KeyArena lease: “I think they were bluffing and hoping to panic people into making a decision, but that’s something lawyers do. On the other hand, as an opening gun in negotiations, while it’s not an offer we’d accept, it’s not that far from a credible offer. So I don’t think it’s a bad-faith effort on their part.”
Some others in Seattle are talking nonsense. City attorney said that if the Sonics offered $200 million, then there might be talks. But Conlin was much closer to the truth. I don’t think the Sonics were bluffing, and I don’t think Clay Bennett’s lawyers were hoping to panic Seattle into taking the first offer, but I do think it was an opening salvo in the negotiations. The $26 million was lower than what I thought it would take — I’m guessing around $40 million — but like Conlin said, that’s not that far from a credible offer, and the number is fluid anyway. Over the next few months, dates arrive that will change each side’s negotiating power. The OKC vote March 4 and the April NBA vote, which if all goes well for the Sonics will swing power to Bennett. The June court date on buying out the lease, which I expect Seattle to win and would return the advantage to the city. The nearing of the drop-dead relocation date, probably early August, which will give Seattle the upper hand until it passes, when that hammer is gone and the Sonics, knowing they face another lame-duck season, will drop their offer dramatically.
It makes for great theater. It doesn’t make for great excitement, not Sonic boom excitement, but all told, it means the NBA inches closer and closer to OKC.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients