CBS SPORTS reports that Friday’s final tally was 28-2 in support of the move. The two owners casting the dissenting votes were Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks and Paul Allen of the Portland Trail Blazers. Why wouldn’t these guys go along with the crowd?
According to the article, Cuban had “previously expressed concerns about the market size“, while Allen’s group “didn’t say why they voted the way they did.” However, we have some better ideas why this duo really said ‘nay’.
With the Sonics moving to OKC, Cuban loses the Sooner State market for his Mavs. And Allen loses a good geographic rival - and the chance to capitalize on a potentially enjoyable rivalry between rising stars Greg Oden & Kevin Durant.
In other words, both guys seem set to lose some money if the move goes through. However, don’t raise beer prices just yet, as the relocation is not a completely done deal.
Clay Bennett & Co. still have the little matter of an arena lease to deal with. The Sonics signed on to stay at Key Arena until 2010, and the city of Seattle is suing to keep the team in town, Meanwhile Bennett has been making monetary offers to break the lease.
In addition, Clay has to deal with suits from other scorned sources:
Bennett is also facing a class-action lawsuit brought by season-ticket holders who say they were duped into buying tickets under the premise the Sonics wouldn’t leave.
And this week former team owner Howard Schultz announced plans to sue to get the team back, saying Bennett did not make a good-faith effort to secure a new arena deal as he promised when he bought the team in 2006.
With all this legal trouble going on, no wonder he can’t wait to clear out of the Pacific Northwest.