Sonics or Seattle? Who is the real loser?

Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008 by Ed Harper

So, who is it going to be, the Sonics or Seattle? In my mind both of them have been losers. Fortunately, the team can rebound, but I don’t think this ownership group or the NBA can.

Previously I have written about the city and community not putting up any money to support the building of the next sports arena – complex. In my mind, enough money has been spent on these projects with the Mariners and the Seahawks. However, in Denver and other city’s there has been a nice blend of private sponsorship in building a state of the art arena. My hope remains that the City can find an interested buyer – Steve Ballmer for one – to help save the day. Just as Paul Allen did for the Seahawks.

However, in my mind, the days of basketball in Seattle may be over. Should we be sad as it has come to light that the NBA has crooked referees watching over their games – in the NBA playoffs no less. Former NBA ref. Tim Donahey has alluded to the games being fixed – and he even pointed to specific games. In working out a plea deal with the FBI he has submitted information that referees altered their foul calling in NBA playoff games in 2002 and 2005.

Also, it seems to me the NBA has a lot to lose if Seattle loses the Sonics. They have already lost face in supporting Clay Bennett the wealthy Oklahoman who wants to pick up the team – break the lease that his team has entered into – and run to Oklahoma City. We will see what Marsha J. Pechman, Federal Judge in the Western District of WA has to say in two weeks in the trial between the city and the team.

So in my mind, by supporting the team ownership – hey that’s who pays David Stern’s salary – the NBA has two strikes against it in this town. First showing that it is a corrupt organization and secondly for supporting the OK ownership group.

Howard Schultz lawsuit may be the best thing for the city of Seattle to save NBA basketball – but he doesn’t have much time.

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