NBA approves Sonics move to Oklahoma City pending resolution of litigationPosted by Inside Hoops
The NBA Board of Governors today endorsed the recommendation of the NBA Relocation Committee and approved the move of the SuperSonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season, subject to a resolution of the pending litigation between the Sonics and the city of Seattle that removes any requirement for the team to play at KeyArena for the next two seasons.
“The support for the NBA demonstrated by the fans, government leaders and business community of Oklahoma City over the last three years has been extraordinary,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “The Board of Governors is confident that that level of local support will result in success for the Sonics franchise in Oklahoma.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports: After NBA owners voted 28-2 on Friday to approve the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City, team chairman Clay Bennett said he’d done everything possible to make things work in Seattle and remains hopeful of a negotiated lease buyout. The city of Seattle could delay the team’s departure for two years by winning the pending federal court battle over the lease’s enforcement, but Bennett and his Oklahoma-based ownership group now have a green light from the league to move as soon as that situation is settled… Stern said the vote was 28-2, with the two owners against being Dallas’ Mark Cuban and Portland’s Paul Allen.