Daugs for Sonics; Sonics the New Dogs

Selections from Buzzer Beater, our sports blog.

Bennett Wants to Leave, Daugs Won’t Let Him

Less than a day after news broke that a former Sonic minority owner had assembled a local ownership group that wants to buy the team and keep them in KeyArena, now comes word from Clay Bennett’s camp that he has filed a relocation application with NBA Commissioner David Stern, wherein he intends to move the team to Oklahoma City, perhaps as soon as next season. Writes Bennett, in a statement issued to the press: “As we stated on July 18, 2006, and have stated on many occasions thereafter, KeyArena is not a viable modern venue for the NBA and if a successor facility is not identified by October 31, 2007, we would evaluate our options, which would include relocation. Given the clear lack of public, political, and business support for a new multi-purpose arena, plus the enactment of Initiative 91 as a City of Seattle ordinance following a public vote authorized by the Seattle City Council itself, and the significant operating losses the businesses are now incurring, we have no option but to commence the NBA relocation process.”In his letter to Bennett expressing interest in purchasing the Sonics and Storm, local businessman Dennis Daugs offers a very different take: “We believe it is possible to operate these teams from their current KeyArena location and would be interested in exploring with the Mayor’s Office and City of Seattle extending the current lease past the 2010 obligation. Our group of investors includes former owners and new investors. Each investor has significant ties to the Seattle area and respects and understands the teams’ long and storied history in our community.”Read the original, full report here.— Mike SeelyThe Sonics Are the New HuskiesAfter two games, it seems the Sonics, like the Huskies, start each contest with their tank three-quarters full. Fortunately for the Sonics, their ailment is more easily diagnosed: When your fourth quarter offense revolves around Earl Watson and Damien Wilkins dribbling around looking for wild shots, that’s troublesome. The remedy? Don’t close with either of those guys. The solution? Put the ball in the hands of Delonte West and Kevin Durant. That’s your two-man game, not Watson and Wilkins, who, despite their best efforts, are doomed to careers of flawed mediocrity. That ain’t the case with the Durantula and D-West, both young players with tons of upside. Once again, this season isn’t about this season; it’s about laying a foundation to compete for a playoff spot two years from now. This is why you could make a case for Jeff Green, who displayed impressive versatility despite an off shooting night against Phoenix, replacing Wilkins in the starting lineup immediately.Frankly, the most enjoyable stanza of last night’s loss to Phoenix was in the second quarter, when Frodo Ridnour shared the floor with Green, Durant, and Chris Wilcox, (I forget who the fifth was—maybe Johan Petro). Also, a note to Phoenix: Adjust your half-court offense so that Grant Hill—a very nice acquisition—doesn’t have to shoot from three-point range. That’s about five feet too far back for Hill, for whom an 18-footer is a stretch. Damon will have a more hands-on account shortly, but I figured I’d get my two cents in to start the meter running.— Mike Seely



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