The NBA’s relocation committee is coming to town on March 25 to tour the Ford Center and meet with business leaders and the Sonics ownership group. NBA Commissioner David Stern as well as several other league executives will be here. You can read more details in our story here.
Stern, meanwhile, dealt another sharp blow to Seattle on Wednesday….
“The one benefit I have from a misspent youth as a lawyer is that I would never make any odds on any litigation other than to say that I think the odds are increasing that the team will go to Oklahoma City. Event though I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on the exact timing of it.”
Two nights earlier, Stern had this to say to a Portland television station….
“I never say never,” Stern said of a potential replacement team in Seattle. “I’m only focusing on the reality of the current situation. And we’ll see what happens down the road. If the expressed desire to bleed current ownership for three more years is acted upon, then we’ll take the bleeding with them and the chances of there ever being a franchise in Seattle again are not very good.”
Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is scheduled to hold a press conference today at 5:30 Central Time to announce a KeyArena renovation plan. There are stories throughout the Seattle media of local investors interested in buying the team from the Sonics Oklahoma-based ownership group and sharing the bill of the remodel with the city and state.
This appears to be the first step in that process. The only problem is, Clay Bennett is unyielding in his refusal to sale the team. Add to that, Bennett and Co. just won big Tuesday night with the passing of the Ford Center tax. So it looks like these new efforts in Seattle might not come in handy until Seattle lands a replacement franchise.