by Jeff Taylor
News that the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics are being sold to a group of investors in Oklahoma City — and presumably will be moved there by 2010 — should remind everyone just how the game is played in the big leagues. Sonics owners wanted a better deal from the city, David Stern himself called the Seattle deal the worst in the NBA. The city said, “Not so fast. We need a public vote.” Sonics said, “No, thanks. We’re done.”
A couple key things to look for in the deal, the overall price of the franchise and the deal with Oak City. Both will help shape the future of the Bobcats in Charlotte.
I was thinking about that future this morning as a read through Muggsy Bogues’ attempts to right the woeful Charlotte Sting, the WNBA gag-gift Johnson received for buying the Bobcats. I was amazed that there was open speculation that the team will move or be folded up outright after the season. The Bobcats might be losing money, but at least they are taking some in — with the Sting who knows. Johnson is not gonna put up with that forever — he needs his hoops empire to start performing.
I thought about the Bobcats’ future even more when I read that new Bobcats team president and Greensboro native Fred Whitfield wants to recapture the glory days of the Hornets and even market the team to NASCAR fans. Hey, best of luck with that Fred. As long as the league office keeps setting your price-point for you — and they will, so long as cities fight for franchises — you face a tough road.
Bob Johnson, however, can always cash out and go play elsewhere.