It appears most of us got out of last week alive. That didn’t seem likely, reading Fairview Fanny’s dispirited Five Stages of Grief series on the presumed loss of the Sonics to OK. No only are they cutting staff up Denny Hill, they seemed to be cutting their throats, implying we’re gripped in suicide over losing the worst Supes team in history. E-mails released by the city, obtained in a lawsuit and indicating franchise owner Clay Bennett lied about plans to keep the team here, seemed to surprise editors even though another owner had already said as much.
Mostly overlooked was the city’s strategy in doling out the e-mails to the media: Rile up the public and the papers, embarrass Bennett and the NBA, and hopefully create a public and national media backlash. That worked to some degree and helped frame the issue before the NBA board that will vote on the move: do we sanction or reject another corporate fraud on our loyal fans?
The next day, the judge in the city/Supes lawsuit told attorneys to shutdafugup and try the case in court. But Howard Schultz, the long-despised former team majority owner, now says he wants the team back, threatening to sue the Oklahomans for violating the sales contract. It’s a legal longshot to recover the assets and perhaps resell them locally.
But another lengthy lawsuit fits into the city’s strategy, which is delay delay delay. Bennett will move his team as planned unless he gets worn out - tied up in court and tied down at KeyArena. So don’t cut anything just yet. Or at least wait until the Sixth Stage of Grief, when this 19 and 62 team, which lost 168-116 to Denver, returns next year.