Since they bought the Seattle Sonics, Clay Bennett and company have claimed that they did not have the initial intention to move the team to Oklahoma City. (They even told David Stern as much.) No one has ever believed them, and now there's proof.
Early emails have been released as a part of court papers, and they're definitive evidence that the group always planned on shipping the team to Oklahoma City. Which is no news to anyone; it's just nice to have proof they lied.
Email from Clay Bennett to David Stern, 8/17/07: "As absolutely remarkable as it may seem, Aubrey and I have NEVER discussed moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City, nor have I discussed it with ANY other member of our ownership group." But, and there's really no other way to put this, Bennett was lying. He'd talked about it at least four months earlier.
Email exchange between [Sonics owners] Tom Ward and Clay Bennett, 4/17/07: Ward: Is there any way to move here for next season or are we doomed to have another lame duck season in Seattle? Bennett: I am a man possessed! Will do everything we can. Thanks for hanging with me boys, the game is getting started!
Owners have learned their lesson from Art Modell. The way to move a franchise is not to sneak out in the middle of the night. It is to slowly demoralize and decimate the fanbase, to the point that people can't wait for you to leave. Make yourself not be missed. We hope Oklahoma City enjoys their team, and that they don't so much as utter a peep with this shit happens to them in 15 years.
Clay Bennett Lied To David Stern [Enjoy The Enjoyment]