Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sonics: How bizarre is this?

Now that's highly unusual: The Seattle Times is reporting [Jim Brunner and Sharon Pian Chan, The Seattle Times] that the Sonics and their owners have apparently agreed on a settlement, only hours before Judge Marsha Pechman was supposed to issue her ruling in the case. The timing of this is bizarre, as I don't see what either side has to gain by settling now. For the city, their aim throughout has been to try and enforce "specific performance" to make the team play at least two more seasons in Seattle, so it wouldn't seem to make sense for them to take a cash buyout at this stage when Judge Pechman might have ruled in their favour, and it's hard to imagine Clay "Buccaneer" Bennett agreeing to the Sonics staying in Seattle any longer than necessary. The other odd aspect to the timing is that both sides have already been fighting dirty: often, settlements are reached in cases like this one to try and prevent incriminating information from coming out in court, but it's hard to picture what else could come out in this one: we've already had scandalous e-mails, "Machiavellian" PowerPoint presentations and enough mudslinging for a federal election. If the Sonics were able to secure a buyout of the lease, then this makes sense for them, but I have no clue why the city would agree to that before at least finding out Judge Pechman's decision. There's apparently a press conference at 5 p.m. today: I'll have more details as they come out.

Update: 4:09 P.M. ET. The settlement is confirmed via an order from Judge Pechman, but still no details to be found.

No comments:

Post a Comment