To the surprise of almost no one, the NBA today approved, by a 28-2 vote, the relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season - depending, of course, on a favorable (to Supes owner Clay Bennett) resolution of a June lawsuit filed by the city of Seattle. The two owners voting against the move were Seattle billionaire Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trailblazers, and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
After 41 seasons here, it apparently just wasn't working out. At a press conference, NBA commissioner David Stern said "The judgement was that the prospect of continued further loses in Seattle without an adequate arena rendered that discussion without a good answer other than moving the team." He was apparently referring to money losses, not the Sonics' worst won/loss season ever.
He referred to the rescue attempt by former Sen. Slade Gorton, leading the Seattle battle, as a "scorched earth" policy, and said it was aimed at "inflicting as much harm as he could" on the NBA. But Stern claimed he didn't take it personally.
When a KING TV reporter in NY asked Stern about recent e-mails showing Bennett lied about his plans to supposedly not move the team, Stern started to answer, was asked another question, and said he is not to be interrupted when he is responding to questions, then refused to answer.
He blew Sonics' fans a final kiss (off): "We very much appreciate your support and we think you have a great city." But you're no Oklahoma City.
Also, Supes owner Bennett said the e-mails - particularly the one about him being a "man possessed" to move the team - were misconstrued. "I was speaking about my committment to a process in Seattle." That's his story and he's sticking to it.