Archive for the ‘Clay Bennett’ Category

Howard’s End Game More Than We Thought?

April 23, 2008

So Howard Schultz’s lawsuit news a little over a week ago was met with the usual rhetoric of this is just a PR stunt. I even spoke to a family member who knows Schultz personally over the weekend, and he said among many things that if he ever does file it, it’s only a publicity stunt to try to win back a region that has, for lack of better words, HATES HIS GUTS for “selling out”.

Well, breaking news tonight has Schultz filing the lawsuit. And guess what? It’s got some real teeth. Not just little candy-corn sized baby teeth either. We’re talking “WOW” teeth. Think John Elway.

Somehow, Schultz and his lawyer, Richard “I’m going to DESTROY YOU” Yarmuth, has unearthed some pretty damaging e-mails. One floated thus far has an exchange from Clay to his boys, saying two days BEFORE the sale was announced, that they could simply buy the team and then do a “sweet flip” all the way to OKC when the arena fails! Whoops. Um, yeah, you see, that’s not EXACTLY good faith. Schultz has already given some information for the suit under oath that this thing was a fraudulent deal from day one, and the interesting part of all is that Schultz isn’t even claiming that he wants back in to NBA ownership! In reality, Schultz and his legal team are asking that the Bennett group simply be removed as owners, and they get their money back. Then, the team is turned over to an independent party, which would then seek out LOCAL ownership in Seattle (Ballmer…Steve Ballmer).

But hey, what the heck do I know? Don’t take my word for it. Check out what a legal analyst at ESPN.com had to say about it in a very quick, yet informative, read that will outline exactly why Schultz could have Bennett on the run in a major way. Maybe the best part of the ESPN piece has that they at least believe that this is very, very serious for Bennett and the words “historic” were mentioned. And that most of all, you haven’t seen Schultz giving a press conference/talk show tour on this thing. In fact Schultz and his attorney refused to comment for ESPN. If it’s a PR move, you make the rounds. If it isn’t, you keep your mouth shut and let the suit do the talking.

Just keep piling it on. Back this scumbag and the NBA into a corner and see what they offer. This is knee-buckling stuff here. The NBA and Bennett in particular are going to have absolutely no choice but to offer the ultimate sweetheart deal to make this go away. They cannot allow Bennett and his morons to testify under oath.


I think it was Conan the Barbarian who said it best:

Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.

CRUSH these guys!

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GO GET ‘EM HOWIE!

April 15, 2008


In a word…..WOW. So THAT is what that letter was all about when they agreed to the sale. This is a complete stunner that Howard Schultz is pissed and wants the Sonics back from that lying scumbag thief.

“It’s not money damage. It’s to have the team returned. The theory of the suit is that when the team was sold, the Basketball Club of Seattle, our team here, relied on promises made by Clay Bennett and his ownership that they desired to keep the team in Seattle and intended to make a good-faith effort to accomplish that.”

OH SNAP, it’s on now! But will it work? Who knows. Maybe this is simply a PR stunt to try and get back in good graces around the NW. If you haven’t followed it much, Howard Schultz has avoided the whole Sonics issue like the plague. The only thing he’s said over last year or so is “NO COMMENT”. He’s been vilified as the biggest reason this team was/is headed out of town. And nobody besides Bennett’s group and Howard’s group has laid eyes on this letter from the beginning, and it could be very difficult to actually define in court what “good faith effort” really means. But we do already know that e-mails have surfaced claiming that Bennett never wanted to keep the team here and clearly was trying to get the wheels in motion for the move well before the mandated deadline agreed to from the beginning.

Does Schultz really want to own the team again? He’s been raked over the coals, but let’s face it, Schultz isn’t a moron. He built Starbucks from nothing, and somehow convinced millions that $4.00 for a cup of coffee and steamed milk is a good thing to do every day. The early speculation is probably that he’ll attempt to win this thing, and if he does ultimately pull it off, immediately sell it to Ballmer and Stanton’s group to go with the Key Arena remodel. So this could be just a pure save-face move in an attempt to right the wrong. But if it means keeping the team here, SO WHO CARES what his motives actually are??

The other thing to consider here is maybe, just maybe, Schultz has some current NBA owners that are friends from when he owned the team? Maybe, just maybe, they will be upset with Bennett’s antics and lying and being so eager to run from a great market? Maybe they’ll see what’s happening here and realize if they vote against the move, Schultz and local ownership could very well get the team back and Bennett could go away? Questions, on top of questions, on top of questions.

The other angle here is that, back in early 2006, Howard Schultz, Wally Walker and David Stern went to Olympia to campaign for a $200-million dollar renovation of Key Arena. Stern was 100% behind the renovation at the time. It was perfectly acceptable just 2+ years ago. Now there is a $300-million dollar renovation of the same building on the table. I wonder what Stern would say under oath as to why that suddenly isn’t good enough?

If anything, it’s yet another fly in the ointment for Bennett to try to take his toy and go home. If the NBA has any sense whatsoever, they will at the very least delay their vote later this week on the move until they get all the litigation straightened out. Good lord, what a freakin‘ MESS the NBA has on their hands right now. And they’ll get zero sympathy from me, you, and a ton of others! At least it’s another chance to expose Bennett for the liar that he is and get that dirty laundry in full public view.

The real beauty of Schultz’s lawsuit is that it focuses on keeping this Sonics team, here and now. None of the promises of expansion in x amount of years, none of the talk of trying to steal a team from Memphis or New Orleans or Charlotte or wherever else. As bad as they were to watch this year, they are still our team, the only team we’ve ever had, or ever cared about, with our history and our tradition. As Brinkhater has said all along about this, the NBA sucks when you are really bad and your owner is trying to get the hell out of town! But when you are winning and competitive, it can be a great thing to watch. Look at how the western conference has been this year. You have teams with 50 wins that are on the edge of even making the playoffs. Think any of those cities hate the NBA right now? Neither do I.

Kudos to Howard for recognizing the situation.

Moving on, we are about to enter the dog days of WSU stuff. There will be some recruiting news for hoops and football, of course, mainly premium content at other sites. We’ll chime in where we can on that. But this is really the end of steady news that we will see for the next several months. So obviously the content around here will taper off a bit.

We’ll have a few more things coming up, including a post-spring look at the defense and offense, among other things. So stay tuned.

Monday Morning Information Overload

January 28, 2008

Lots of stuff buzzing so we’ll get right to it:

  1. Win some/lose some department – Cougfan has been all over the Cougar recruiting news, and there was some new info trickling out yesterday. Basically we stole one from UW (Cory Mackay, 6-4 WR, officially verballed to WSU); grabbed a 4-star JC defensive lineman (Bernard Wolfgramm, a pass-rusher everyone thought was headed to K-State); and finally, lost a possible diamond in the rough in Brian Baucham to USC. Baucham, you’ll remember, looked pretty good on tape last week. Only a 2-star prospect, but a kid with what looks like big-play ability. Come on Peter Perfect Carroll, you just had to steal one of ours? Didn’t you do that last year? Oh well. Maybe he’s mad about Bumpus refusing his grey-shirt offer in ’04 and coming to WSU when they kicked him to the curb for Dwayne Jarrett?

    There is some news that Kent WR/Safety Brandon Turner returned from his trip to the Palouse, but still no commitment. Turner is a 2-star player who interests WSU, but our own “source” in Kent says he’s good, yet not exactly a game-breaker. In fact, our source went on to tell me that WSU can probably go better and he’s a borderline D-1 player. Hmm, 6-3, 197, runs a reported 4.46? Sounds good to me!

  2. Yes, Brinkhater, we saw a return to Bennett Ball on Saturday. 56-55 is much more like it, but my God, I was sweating the last few minutes. Yikes. I really wonder where our heads might have been today had ASU won that game. Still, 4 homes games in a row coming up and a shot at 7-2 for the first half of the season if we can sweep the Bay Area schools. 7-2 when 5 of 9 games are on the road?? HELL YES I’ll take that!
  3. Speaking of the hoops team, looks like we’re #9 in the latest polls. Seems about right. A 1-1 split in the desert isn’t easy. And further, on the Arizona game – PLEASE STOP all the “we suck” talk. We don’t suck. But Arizona is better than we think they are. They had a white-hot weekend sweeping the Washington schools, as they blew out the Dawgs on Saturday. No matter what anyone says, they are still Arizona. We’ll see what happens when they cool off a bit and hit frosty Pullman next month!
  4. So, Erik Bedard – is he or isn’t he a Mariner? You hear Geoff Baker of the Times talk, the deal is now done and will be announced probably tomorrow afternoon after Jones passes his physical. I heard him on KJR this AM and he says it’s done. He also says that the M’s will sign Brad Wilkerson to a 1-year deal as soon as the deal is done to at least platoon in right field. The other names in the deal are George Sherill, and then it gets a little cloudy. Probably a combo of Tillman and Butler, a couple of minor-league arms with upside. Some had said it’ll be a 5-for-1, with another high-ceiling prospect going to Baltimore, but that isn’t clear yet. We do know that Jones has been yanked for good from winter ball, and Jones said in an interview that Bavasi told him to go to Baltimore for a physical and he was the centerpiece of a trade for Bedard. Hmm. Yet Baltimore denies it right now, and the windbag Peter Angelos hasn’t made up his mind yet?? He’s famous for pulling the plug on deals, he’s done it in the past and you know he’ll do it again. We’ll see, but stay tuned.

    I’ll say this – I heard Mitch Levy on KJR say it this AM, and I totally agree – the hardest things to find in sports are 1) a franchise QB, 2) an all-star NBA center, and 3) a legit ACE on an MLB staff. Those things don’t grow on trees. So when you find yourself at a moment that could see it happen, well, you go for it. I love what I’ve seen of Adam Jones, and I think he’s going to be a wonderful player. Better than Mike Cameron, and probably a parallel to Torii Hunter, if not even better when it’s all said and done. But Erik Bedard, my God, how do you pass on that? You know he was better than even the great Johan Santana in a lot of categories last year? And he’s 28, with 2 more years at least under contract? Jayson Stark said that he’s easily right there with Santana as the best lefthanded starter in BASEBALL. And he’s recently said that he’ll be open to talks of a contract extension? The very thought of pairing Bedard with Felix at the top of the rotation is really, really exciting. And the staff, 1-5, rounds out nicely with Bedard, Felix, Batista, Silva and Washburn. I’d put that 5 up against a lot of staffs in the AL, and it certainly matches up better with the Halos. And who knows, if these guys can get deep into games, the bullpen stays fresher, etc. It could be one interesting summer at the Safe IF this deal happens!

  5. So how about that UW story in the Times?? The story stinks so badly that they have to spread it out over FOUR DAYS of in-depth sleeze. Wow. And they want $150 million of King County tax money?? How many soccer moms in King County, who had no clue about any of this, are throwing up in their morning latte’s? Rape with Jerramy Stevens, among a long list of F-UPS?? Shootings with bloody fingerprints of Pharms, yet they let him play?? What’s next? It’s obvious the state reps have heard from some registered voters over the last week or so, hence the about face of Dr. Evil himself, Frank Chopp. But, remember, this isn’t just front-page sports page news. This is TOP FOLD, A1, front page news on the most circulated paper in the pacific NW. Hard to ignore these kinds of stories. I don’t know how much of you have read it so far, but it’s pretty disgusting. A fan of UW, WSU or Spokane Falls CC, the thing is an embarrassment for college sports.
  6. Have you heard the one about the most hated owner in the NW mocking a Sonics fan at the Key last night, to the extent that he did a “boo hoo” face to him and then had him ejected from the arena?? What a pile Cash-us Clay has turned out to be. No matter what happens, be it the city loses the case and they are out of here, or they are here for 2 more seasons, or he eventually sells, at least we know we won’t have to look at “crap with feet” forever. I just want the damn thing to be over with.

Enjoy your week!