We interrupt our local tech coverage for an editorial opinion on the technicalities of corporate foul play. Question: Is there anyone in this city who does not truly understand how Seattle lost its NBA franchise last week? Before the arena lease issue went to trial. Before fall-back or win-back plans were ever contemplated. Before the other red herrings were salted. Here’s a three word clue that makes it easier than banking a three-point shot to figure out: “Follow the money.”
Instead of pursuing a deal for a hometown ownership group to take over Seattle’s historic NBA franchise, instead of putting the team up for local bidding, Howard Schultz sold out the city of Seattle and its legions of basketball fans for the premium proceeds being offered by out-of-state buyers looking to export an NBA franchise to a speculative market instead of competing for a new franchise against other cities.
The irony is that nothing exceeds like excess. The timing of Starbuck’s 600 store closure announcement last week, breaking on the same day that a U.S Federal Court in Seattle sealed the Sonics’ fate, is synchronistic. As bittersweet as a wasabi machiatto. Schutlz making millions by selling out a local sports franchise while Starbuck’s announces closures and setbacks seems, at once, staged and sorrrowful, contrived and karmic, pathetic and poetic.
A month ago, Schultz cried foul and claimed he was initiating a lawsuit against pillager Clay Bennett based on the lack of good faith in the lead-up to the purchase transaction. Reports cited fraudulent misrepresentation of the acquirer’s actual intentions to keep the team in Seattle. Now that the buyer’s original objectives have been made public in post-trial statements akin to ‘We got what we wanted,” Howard’s positions are only two. He was either cleverly deceived by the buyers from Oklahoma City or a complicit part of the deception. His lawsuit would tend to indicate the former. But is there any substance behind the Starbuck’s showman’s legal challenge, or is it also a bluff? Time will tell.
Unless, and until, there is a vigorous response by Howard on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Sonics’ fans spanning three generations, it is Schultz’s deception on the city of Seattle, not Bennett’s, that is issue # 1 and the argument that Sonics’ fan blogs have been righteously indignant about. With that finding, the city of Seattle should seek remuneration from Schultz for the bad faith he has shown in this foul transaction. In coffee terms, all we as citizens have left from this pull-out are the bitter grounds of a spent, double-dealing, double-desperate, NBA foul shot. [24×7]
Search Engine Strategies’ One-Day BootCamp Coming to Town Thursday, July 17
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Seattle24x7 readers will enjoy a 10% discount at the Training Day by typing in code TR10SE at the registration page for a 10% discount. Hup to it. [24×7]
A New Apple Store Opens in Lynwood as iPhone 2.0 Day Tees Up
Lynnwood’s Alderwood Mall is the latest new home of a bustling Apple Store, just in time for launch of Apple’s iPhone 2.0 on July 11th. The new outpost at 3000 184th St. S.W. in the Mall will join AT&T orders in selling the new iPhones featuring fast, 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and a new iPhone App Store, While the price to pick up thje pone is less than than iPhone, the AT&T data plan portion will end up costing a bushel more. Message to Jobs: Unlock the iPhone magic cuz one bad Apple (AT&T) and pricing plan can spoil the whole buncvh through. [24×7]