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Stern stands behind SuperSonics owner

By: AP
By: AP

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- NBA Commissioner David Stern says he's convinced Seattle SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett made a good-faith effort to keep the team in Seattle.

The comments come despite the release of e-mails between Bennett and his partners about moving the team to Oklahoma City.

Bennett bought the club in 2006 and promised to negotiate with Seattle for a full year before deciding whether to move the Sonics.

The e-mails released last week are part of the city of Seattle's efforts to enforce the SuperSonics' lease at KeyArena.

Stern repeatedly has said that KeyArena is not a suitable home for the Sonics, and rejected a recent attempt led by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to renovate the arena to keep the team in Seattle.

That effort subsequently fell apart when it wasn't backed by the city or the state legislature.

Stern says it's too late at this point to seek other owners who would keep the Sonics in the city where they've played the past 41 years.


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