Schultz Sues to Keep Sonics in Seattle

Starbucks CEO offers email proof of new owner's duplicity
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 12:59 PM CDT
Seattle SuperSonics' Johan Petro, left, Jeff Green, center, and Earl Watson, right, walk off the court at the buzzer of what might have been the team's final NBA basketball game in Seattle.   (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
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(Newser) – Howard Schultz filed a suit yesterday seeking to reverse the sale of the SuperSonics to Oklahoma-based investor Clay Bennett. The Starbucks CEO and former Sonics owner cites email evidence that Bennett's ultimate goal was always to bring a basketball team to his hometown. The lawsuit asks the court to void the sale and help transfer the team to "an honest buyer," reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"These Oklahoma City businessmen wanted a team that would play in Oklahoma City—not in Seattle. They were willing to lie, and did lie, to complete the deal," says Schultz's complaint. Bennett's email to his investing group says that if arena negotiations didn't give them an excuse to leave the city, they could find another team to bring to Oklahoma.