The Seattle SuperSonics were a franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1967 to 2008, when they changed their name to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This week’s episode of The Last Dance featured the SuperSonics team from 1995-1996, which included talents such as Gary Payton.
Fans, however, flocked to Twitter in the wake of the episodes’ broadcasts to inquire, “What happened to the Seattle SuperSonics?” When exactly did the Sonics relocate to Oklahoma City? ‘
The team is the third NBA franchise to move during the 2000s, and before to the 2008–2009 NBA season, there were many lawsuits filed in its name. The team also moved during this time.
This is what ended up happening to the Seattle SuperSonics, as well as when the Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City. Let’s look it up in the post, shall we?
Seattle Supersonic Final Years
The Chicago Bulls had future hall of famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and coach Phil Jackson. The Sonics lost three straight games and faced an embarrassing sweep.
The SuperSonics won game four by letting Gary Peyton defend Michael Jordan. In game five, the Sonics beat the Bulls again, extending the series to six games.
Dennis Rodman duplicated his game 2 defensive performance in game six, helping the Bulls beat the Sonics 4 games to 2. The 1996 NBA finals trip was the SuperSonics’ last.
In the next two seasons, the club made the playoffs and reached the semifinals. In 1997 and 1998, they lost to the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
George Karl was sacked following back-to-back second-round playoff eliminations, and he didn’t get along with Sonics GM Wally Walker. Over the next decade, the SuperSonics only made the playoffs three times.
The 2005 Sonics won their division and reached the semi-finals against the Spurs. Rahard Lewis and Ray Allen helped the Sonics take the series to six games, where they lost to the Spurs. 2005 was the last postseason season for the Seattle SuperSonics.
What happened to Seattle Supersonic?
Howard Schultz sold the Seattle SuperSonics and WNBA Storm to Aubrey McClendon, Tom Ward, and Clayton Bennett in July 2006 for $350 million.
Bennett told Schultz they didn’t want to transfer either team and would stay provided they could ‘negotiate an acceptable successor facility and lease arrangement.’ The organisation discussed with Renton, Washington, but the state legislature didn’t approve taxpayer money in 2007.
Bennett, Ward, and Clendon were excited about the move, according to letters. McClendon stated they bought the team despite it being ‘difficult financially’
Bennett emailed McClendon on August 13, 2007 about the legal repercussions of his comments, which undermined ‘good faith best attempts’ Stern and Bennett reunited, but McClendon was fined $250,000.
Schultz later sued the 2006 sale. He was selling to a Seattle group. Seattle sued to keep the team for another year.
Before the litigation, Oklahoma City voters approved $120 million in tax incentives to build a new downtown arena. Former newscaster Mick Cornett joined Sonics. OKC threatened to sue if Schultz blocked the deal.
In 2008, he dismissed his claim since he couldn’t prove the Bennett group lied. After relocation to Oklahoma, the team’s value rose to $329 million.
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Why Seattle Supersonic sold out?
The ownership group of the SuperSonics, led by Howard Schultz, ultimately decided to sell the team to the Professional Basketball Club LLC (PBC), an investment group that is headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett.
This decision was made after the ownership group’s attempts to convince officials of the Washington state government to provide $220 million in public funding to update KeyArena were unsuccessful.
Seattle Supersonic sale and playing conditions
PBC was required to demonstrate “good faith” in its pursuit of a suitable venue for the club within the greater Seattle area as a condition of the sale of the team.
Bennett’s group told the NBA that it wanted to move the club to Oklahoma City and requested arbitration with the city of Seattle to be released from its lease with KeyArena.
This came after Bennett’s group was unable to convince local governments to pay for a new $500 million arena complex.
Following the judge’s decision to deny the motion, the city of Seattle filed a lawsuit against Bennett’s company in order to enforce the lease provision that obliged the team to continue playing in KeyArena until 2010.
PBC agreed to pay $45 million in exchange for breaking the lease on July 2, 2008, and an extra $30 million if Seattle was not offered a replacement franchise in five years, among other terms, as part of the settlement. This agreement was struck on the same day.
Seattle Supersonic Relocation
The ownership group of the Seattle SuperSonics was able to successfully move the franchise from Seattle, Washington to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a result of their efforts to relocate the team.
The new home of the SuperSonics is the Oklahoma City Thunder arena. After becoming the third National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise to relocate in the 2000s, the team began play as the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2008–09 NBA season. This marked the beginning of the franchise’s new home in Oklahoma City.
Seattle People Reactions
Save Our Sonics and Storm (abbreviated as “SOS”) is an organisation that was founded in 2006 by a group of local Seattle people with the goal of garnering support for the establishment of a permanent professional basketball presence in the city.
When the WNBA franchise for the Storm was sold to a local ownership group, the “and Storm” element of the name was omitted. At the United States Capitol on June 16, 2008, the organisation planned and executed a well-publicized rally, which according to reports attracted more than 3,000 participants.
A rally was staged at the U.S. District Courthouse in Seattle on the first day of the city of Seattle’s lawsuit against the PBC to enforce the remaining two years on the KeyArena lease. The gathering was meant to protest the projected move of the team.
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