Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seattle v Sonics Prediction Post

First off, I want to apologize to the City from the start. Given my sterling record of predictions the fact that I am about to suggest that the City will probably win does not help the cause. But hearing all the reporters and sports talk radio hosts complain about how the City has booted the case and wallow in depression is more than I can take.

So here is what I suspect will happen.

The judge will suspend/hold/whatever-the-term-is a verdict in the trial until the conclusion of the Schultz v Sonics breach of contract trial. The reality is that the result of that trial could negate the very need for this trial. Plus, if the judge ruled for the Sonics it could lead a verdict for Schultz in his trial unenforceable. I suspect the judge will try to avoid that.

The next most likely verdict, in my admittedly limited experience and therefore questionable opinion, is that the judge will allow the lease to be broken but will assess a substantial financial penalty against the Sonics. The penalty will include the any rents owed the City for the duration of the lease as well as some payment for the lost services the Sonics are required to provide the City. While technically that will be a victory for the Sonics I believe it will be really be a victory for the City. It just won't be their best case scenario. I do not know if that means the City will be required to pay legal expenses; my guess is no but the judges get very letter of the law is about these things and I don't know what the letter or the law is here.

After that, it's possible the Sonics will be forced to play out the lease (in fact I think the Sonic's strategy of trying to discredit the economist who testified about economic values probably increased this chance if the judge has any basic economics understanding).

The least likely to me, and the one that everyone seems to think will happen is that the sonics will be let out of the lease scott free.

I have specific reasoning for this anlysis which I may share if I have time.

I do have one more issue to take with the Negative Nelly's. It's often stated in the same diatribe that while the NBA don't care and Bennett is a weasil that the State did not do enough and it's partially their fault.

So let me ask, what exactly were they supposed to do? The deal offered was this: "Give us 500 Million dollars or we leave". It was pretty clearly a poison pill offer from the beginning and a ludicrous request. Once that was rejected, is it really the Governor or the State's role to come up with new plans? It seems to me that thats the Sonics responsibility. If they really wanted to be here then it's there job to come up with a new proposal for the State to consider. It makes sense to include state officials. But it doesn't make much sense to me for the State to drive this.


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