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Sonics trial could be ugly, lawyer says

June 3, 2008 at 3:53 PM   |   Comments

SEATTLE, June 3 (UPI) -- A scheduled trial over the Seattle SuperSonics' lease could be more like a barroom brawl than basketball, says a Washington state attorney.

Seattle attorney Randy Aliment suggested the issue should be resolved before the opening gavel in Judge Marsha Pechman's U.S. District Court on June 16 if both the team and city know what's good for them, reported the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Tuesday.

"You'd think the NBA would pull both sides into a room, knock their heads together and say, 'Let's get this resolved,' because it will be a bloodbath in that courtroom," said Aliment, whose firm represented former Seahawks owner Ken Behring in his 1996 attempt to move the football team to Los Angeles.

The NBA has already approved the Sonics' move to Oklahoma City once KeyArena lease legal issues are resolved. But a protracted legal battle could keep the team in Seattle until after next season.

"You've definitely got a three-ring circus going now," Aliment said. "From a straight legal standpoint, this thing is just about unprecedented. I'm thinking one of the only other comparable situations was when Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders filed suit and things got stupid down there. That one actually went to trial."

Topics: Al Davis
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