by: Essex Porter Updated:SEATTLE —
Seattle could get Sonics basketball back, and a lawsuit could be the way to do it. But experts say it would not be easy or likely.
Monday, the NBA relocation committee rejected a request to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Local arena developer Chris Hansen responded with a rousing statement.
“We have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up,” he said.
However, if those options include a lawsuit, experts said it would be difficult to succeed. Seattle University law professor Jack Kirkwood said Hansen could possibly file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA.
“The argument would be that by prohibiting relocation or expansion that the league has acted anti-competitively and has hurt sports fans,” Kirkwood said.
But NBA TV legal analyst Michael McCann said prospective owners often waive their right to sue the NBA if they are rejected. And McCann said a lawsuit wouldn’t bring Seattle an NBA team any time soon.
“Maybe a trial, maybe a settlement, and a trial (but) no settlement, an appeal and then another appeal. This is not an instant process, the litigation process,” McCann said.
Hansen pushed on with an important milestone on Tuesday, filing for a permit to build a new arena close to Seattle’s Safeco Field. And in his statement, he quoted Muhammad Ali, saying, “Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”