by Michael Baldwin Published: October 5, 2008
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It’s those legal issues that make this relocation unique in all of professional sports.

Thunder owner Clay Bennett owns the Sonics history, the 1978-79 NBA championship trophy, stats, nickname and colors. An out-of-court settlement stipulates Bennett must "share the history.”

That’s like trying to share a popsicle.

The most similar example to the Sonics/Thunder relocation is the Cleveland Browns leaving for Baltimore. The organization left the nickname, colors and records in Cleveland.

But Cleveland was guaranteed to get another NFL team. An expansion team. Seattle might get another NBA team. It might not.

It’s an unusual situation.

The Lakers took their records with them when they moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. The same thing when the Jazz moved from New Orleans to Salt Lake City. The Charlotte Hornets took all records to New Orleans. The Charlotte Bobcats started from scratch as an expansion team.

Oklahoma City technically is an expansion team... with a 40-year history it won’t embrace.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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