Despite rumors that KeyArena talks with the city were going warmly, The Seattle Times is reporting that the Seattle SuperSonics and Storm are being sold to an Oklahoma City-based ownership group. Sonics spokesperson Kurt Fedders would not confirm the sale nor provide any details other than to say the team has called a press conference for this afternoon. The New Orleans Hornets have been playing their home games at Ford Arena in OK City since Katrina hit, and are slated to play there again next season. Moreover, OK City has been lauded by the NBA for passionately embracing the Hornets and packing seats; while Commissioner David Stern has made no bones about his distaste for Seattle officials' ambivalent (if not arrogantly hostile) attitude toward the Supes' arena plight.
Long story short: Anyone who thinks a group of Sooner state investors are going to so much as entertain keeping the team in Seattle is kidding themselves -- and don't expect the league to intervene. On that front, it'd be equally shocking to see the NBA propose a compromise along the lines of when Stern promised Charlotte an expansion franchise when the Hornets fled for New Orleans. It will also be interesting to see what sort of long-term impact this has on the approval ratings of both Howard Schultz and Greg Nickels, each of whom will be held accountable for the team's imminent departure.