A Thursday hearing has been scheduled for the court case between the Sonics and the city of
Seattle. The hearing is scheduled for oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. Seattle time and will be heard by Judge Ricardo Martinez, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington. It will mark the first court appearance by each party’s representatives since the city of Seattle filed its lawsuit against the team on Sept. 24.
The case’s initial hearing was scheduled to take place last Wednesday before Judge Harry McCarthy in King County Superior Court. But attorneys for the Sonics last Tuesday filed a motion to move the case to federal court.
Martinez called Thursday’s hearing to begin determining whether the case will remain in court or should be allowed to be settled by a panel of arbitrators. It’s unclear how Martinez will act Thursday. He could make an immediate ruling on the matter, or he could notify both parties that a decision will come at a later date. Meanwhile, the city of
Seattle last week filed a demand for a jury trial, continuing a string of counter moves by both sides.
In other news, our old friend Rasual Butler had more than $268,000 worth of jewelry stolen from his luggage after the Hornets played here last week. The jewelry was being transported back to New Orleans by Butler’s assistant. It came up missing somewhere between OKC, Houston and New Orleans.
My first question is, why do you have $268,000 worth of jewelry? My second question is, if you have $268,000 in jewelry, why are you letting it out of your sight? Question No. 3 is, does this assistant get fired now? I’m sure if I made a $268,000 mistake on my job I wouldn’t be allowed to grab by coat on the way out.
Also, Kevin Durant’s superstar status is in launch mode. He apparently has a commercial on the horizon. Let’s just hope it’s half as good as his EA Sports commercial with Gilbert Arenas.
Getting back to the Hornets. They played their first preseason game in New Orleans on Monday night. Hornets lost 117-104 to the Pacers. The announced crowd was 7,736. But judging by these pictures and this video, there didn’t look to be half that. Here’s hoping the rest of the season doesn’t have similar results.
One last thing, John Lambardo of the SportsBusiness Journal did a nice piece on the Hornets’ return to New Orleans. He told personal stories of several Hornets employees. Worth checking out.
- Darnell Mayberry