Sonics Spat Heats Up

Owner now accusing Seattle of 'Machiavellian plan'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 10:45 AM CDT
Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, listens as David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City in this March 25, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett is now taking a swing at Seattle, accusing Mayor Greg Nickles of a "Machiavellian plan" to turn the basketball team back over to local ownership. The Oklahoma billionaire claims the city has misled the public and mischaracterized reasons for the lawsuit it filed to keep the Sonics at Key Arena, reports the Seattle Times.

A local investor group headed by a Microsoft CEO has been working with the city, Bennett's court documents say. Key documents have been kept from the public, Bennett claims, "because they detail the city's complicity and its coordinated effort to use this litigation to make 'the Oklahomans' bleed cash in a hostile media environment."