Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On the Ground: Jim Moore

Photo: Jim Moore, Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports columnist. [Photo from the Seattle Post-Int].

Without further ado, I present the second installment in the On the Ground interview series. The subject this time is Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports columnist, . Here's my questions and his answers:

Q: What’s the mood like in Seattle? Do people still feel there’s a chance to keep the franchise, or are they resigned to losing it?

A: The mood here isn't good. I think people are hopeful that the city has a good case but are more resigned to the thought that the Sonics will win and leave town soon.

Q: Do you think the rallies and popular expressions of support will make any difference in the end?

A: No, I don't think the rallies or fan support matters. Hate to say that, but I don't. The judge even intimated during the trial that fan sentiment wasn't her chief concern.

Q: What do you think was the city’s strongest argument or piece of evidence presented during the trial?

A: The specific performance part of the lease that requires the Sonics not just to pay for the lease but to play at KeyArena.

Q: What do you think was PBC’s strongest argument or piece of evidence presented during the trial?

A: That two partners should not be forced to stay together when there's so much acrimony.

Q: Is there anything you think the city could have done better during the process leading up to the trial? If so, what? What about during this trial?

A: Just a personal feeling, I thought the PBC side was better prepared with its arguments.

Q: If Judge Pechman rules in favour of PBC buying its way out of the lease, do you think there is still any hope for keeping the team (i.e. appeal, the Schultz lawsuit, or something else), or will that mean they’re definitely gone?

A: It won't mean they're definitely gone, but it will move from possibly gone to probably gone. City officials have indicated they will make some kind of move in that event, possibly a temporary restraining order so they'll have time to explore further options.

Q: If the city is allowed to enforce the "specific performance" clause, do you see the Sonics remaining here any longer than 2010?

A: I do see the city staying until 2010. but that will be it. I don't think Bennett will sell the team. He seems pretty hellbent on taking the Sonics to Oklahoma City one way or another.

Q: If the team leaves, do you see Seattle ever getting another NBA franchise? If so, what timeframe do you think is likely?

A: Yes, I think the Sonics will get another franchise. My guesstimate is 2015 after another arena is built.

Thanks to Jim for taking the time to do this. Here's his bio paragraph:

Jim Moore grew up in Seattle. He's 51, and has been at the Post-Intelligencer for 26 years. He covered the Sonics as the beat writer from 1989-96 and the 2000-01 season. He was a huge fan as a kid, but his love for the NBA has faded to the point that it won't be a big deal to him if the team leaves, though he hopes it doesn't.

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