The Sonics could stay in Seattle. In name, anyway. The nickname of the city's longtime NBA franchise could stay there even though Clay Bennett announced Friday that the team has filed for relocation to Oklahoma City. While recently relocated NBA franchises have taken their names with them — the New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies among them — the league has no rules prohibiting a name change.
What will the franchise do about the name? "I don't know,” Sonics chairman Clay Bennett said Friday. "I think everything is on the table. Clearly, our partners, the other owners in the league and the league itself will be involved with this as well as on issues such as that. But I think everything would be on the table.” Leaving the nickname in Seattle might be part of the franchise's negotiations with the city of Seattle to break its KeyArena lease. For more than four decades, the Sonics have been part of Seattle. That's longer than the Colts were in Baltimore. Of course, when the Colts moved to Indianapolis, they took their name with them. It created animosity in Baltimore that still remains. Cleveland, on the other hand, kept the rights to the Browns when the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1995.
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