- The Sonics are bought by Howard Schultz, also the owner of Starbucks.
- Schultz says he needs a renovation / new arena paid by public money (even though he owns one of the most profitable coffee chains in North America).
- Clay Bennett, a businessman from Oklahoma City, buys the team and states that he will not move the team to Oklahoma City. David Stern also says the team isn't moving.
- Bennett says he needs $500 million of public money to build an arena in a Seattle suburb, even though the recently built baseball and football stadiums in Seattle didn't cost as much and hold probably twice as many fans as a basketball arena.
- Stern says in February 2008 that the team will likely move.
It absolutely breaks my heart. This means that any jerk owner can hijack a team and move them because they asked for public money and didn't get it, and they give some whacked out story about an uncaring fan base.
If this sounds like what Jeffrey Loria did to the Montreal Expos, it's because it's extremely close. A new owner that wants to build a new stadium with public money so that they can reap more profits, a fan base alienated by terrible personnel moves, and a commissioner so passive about the situation, he's almost (and most likely) complicit.
We can't have Clay Bennett hold a loyal fan base at gunpoint to get a new arena. It's this reason that I have chosen to stand with those Seattle fans to protest the, almost inevitable, movement of the Sonics (and their 41 years of history) to Oklahoma City.