The Work

April 18, 2008 5:24 PM

NBA Approves Sonics Move

Posted by Brian Baxter

The Associated Press is reporting that National Basketball Association owners voted 28-2 to approve the move of the Seattle SuperSonics franchise to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season. Back in November The American Lawyer profiled Slade Gorton, the K&L Gates counsel and longtime Washington senator retained by the city of Seattle to fight the move. The subsequent suit filed by Gorton, who has a history of keeping professional sports in Puget Sound, currently remains unresolved.

Earlier this week the team’s former owner, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, hired Richard Yarmuth—a name partner at Seattle boutique litigation firm Yarmuth Wilsdon Calfo—to investigate the merits of filing another suit against current ownership to prevent the team from fleeing The Emerald City.

NBA commissioner David Stern, a former partner at Proskauer Rose, said in a statement that “[t]he support for the NBA generated by the fans, government leaders, and business community of Oklahoma City over the last three years has been extraordinary.”

Leaving litigation as the last hope for Sonics fans.

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