NBA Teams Sports Law

The Battle In Seattle Continues

The Seattle Supersonics are no longer in existence. However, former Sonic owner Howard Schultz is still making a lot of commotion. This past Friday, August 15th, Federal Judge Marsha Pechman set a June 15, 2009 trial date for Schultz’s lawsuit, which seeks to overturn his 2006 sale of the team to Clay Bennett. The sale ultimately led to the movement of the team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City. Judge Pechman was also behind the bench for the case between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett.

Former owner and Starbucks Mogul, Howard Schultz, claims that current owner Clay Bennett failed to keep his promise of making a “good-faith effort” to get a new arena built for the team and allow them to stay in Seattle. Bennett and his group of Oklahoma City investors paid Schultz $350 million for the team.

If Schultz were to succeed in his lawsuit, the team would then be forced to move back to Seattle. Bennett’s initial agreement with Schultz when purchasing the team called for a refund of his payment in order to break the lease, which has not happened yet. Schultz and Seattle fans will have to wait a year to find out if they still have a chance. In the mean time, Bennett and his Oklahoma City team are left without team colors and a name. You can help decide the team’s names and colors by adding your input here at