Schultz lawsuit remains

Thursday, July 3rd 2008, 4:13 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

The SuperSonics' move to Oklahoma City has another possible scenario where the team will not be playing this coming season; that scenario involves another lawsuit.

Clay Bennett mentioned Wednesday night, understandably it didn't get the attention that other elements in the $45 million settlement got, the lawsuit filed by former Sonics owner Howard Schultz is still out there posing a threat, however miniscule it may be.

Bennett and his ownership group, the PBC, aren't taking chances and put a provision in the settlement covering the possibility that the Schultz lawsuit succeeds, or holds them up. If, as a result of that litigation, PBC is unable to relocate to Oklahoma City for the full 2008/2009 season or returns to Seattle after locating there, Seattle would have to pay part or all of the $45 million back.

Sonics lead attorney Brad Keller said the suit is just an attempt by Schultz to salvage his reputation in Seattle.

"The Schultz lawsuit is such a far-fetched legal remedy," Keller said. "We're pretty confident in our ability to beat that case back and we will be mounting many, many challenges to it as it tries to proceed down the path toward a trial."

If the case does make it to trial, Schultz's attorneys would likely rely on communications like "the man possessed" e-mail to prove PBC's true intent was to move the team to Oklahoma City. Keller did say, however, one thing the just-completed Seattle trial just proved is that there's probably another side of the story.

"And I would be surprised if there's a lot to talk about, in terms of what has been going on his side of this issue as it's been unfolding scenes while the team was being sold two years ago," Keller said.

Keller said the team is moving and he's extremely confident the Schultz lawsuit will not impede that move.