‘Cash-Us Clay’ tries to KO Seattle fans

Graphic courtesy of okiedoke.com

From ESPN.com

By Jim Caple

It’s official. Art Modell, Robert Irsay, Donald Sterling and Jeffrey Loria are off the hook. The worst owner in sports history is Clay Bennett.

I know, I know. There is a lot of competition for that distinction. Why, to even achieve the honor of worst owner in Seattle sports history you have to beat out Ken Behring, George Argyros, Jeff Smulyan and Howard Schultz. But Bennett, or as my friend Rod calls him, “Cash-Us” Clay, accomplished it in a little more than a year. Just consider his most recent move.

The minute he was welcomed as an NBA owner in 2006, Clay Bennett, (center), started asking for a new arena.

Showing all the public relations and marketing savvy that has marked his tenure as owner so far, Bennett formally announced his intention to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City less than a day after the tip-off to the team’s home opener. “Welcome to the 2007-08 season, Sonics fans! And will the owner of a Prius hybrid please move your car — you’re blocking the owner’s U-Haul vans.” Cash-Us Clay released a statement declaring he will move the team as soon as he can break his lease at Seattle’s KeyArena or when he next sheds his skin, whichever comes first.

“From the beginning,” Bennett says in the release (we assume with a straight face), “it has been my absolute hope and expectation that we would be able to secure the necessary governmental commitments to build a successor venue to KeyArena.”

This would sound a lot more convincing had his partner and minority owner, Aubrey McLendon, not already revealed to an Oklahoma paper earlier this year that: “We didn’t buy the team to keep it in Seattle; we hoped to come here.” (McLendon, by the way, was a big donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which gives you some idea of this group’s tactics.) Read more…

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