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Oklahoma City Thunder news gathered from around the net.

Judge: Arbitration Not Option For Sonics On Lease

The Seattle SuperSonics may not try to escape their lease at KeyArena through arbitration, a federal judge said Monday. Judge Ricardo S. Martinez called the team's interpretation of the contract "as errant as a typical Shaquille O'Neal free throw."

The decision was a victory for the city and means officials may continue to seek a court order forcing the Sonics to play the next three seasons at the NBA's smallest venue.

"The Sonics have made clear they're attempting to leave after this coming season," Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr said. "The city wants an order from the judge saying they cannot escape the terms of their lease."

New Sonics' Chairman Clay Bennett failed to win public funding this year to build a new arena. Last month, he issued a demand for arbitration, hoping to buy out the remainder of the lease unless a deal on a new facility could be reached by the end of this month.

Via ESPN

Durant Tests Ankle, May Play In Sonics' Opener

Kevin Durant, Seattle's second overall choice, moved fluidly while completing practice Monday, two days before the season opener at Denver. It was the first extensive basketball work for last season's national college player of the year since he sprained his left ankle in a preseason game Oct. 23.

Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo would not declare Durant ready to start at shooting guard in the nationally televised opener against the Nuggets on Wednesday night. Seattle then has its home opener Thursday night against Phoenix.

"He looked decent. He probably did a little more than probably we thought he'd be able to do," Carlesimo said, after Durant joined Earl Watson, Damien Wilkins, Chris Wilcox and Nick Collison on the first team for a scrimmage that ended practice.

Via ESPN

Durant Questionable For Season Opener

Kevin Durant missed his second consecutive preseason game for the SuperSonics Friday night. The second overall pick in June's draft was back in Seattle shooting and walking on a treadmill to test his sprained left ankle.

Coach P.J. Carlesimo said he talked Durant, his rookie shooting guard who turned his ankle late in a game Tuesday, but the coach had no idea whether Durant will be ready for the opener. Doctors hope to have a better idea after the team resumes practicing on Sunday.

"Kevin feels better," Carlesimo said, though he stressed that he won't push the 19-year-old just so he can start the nationally televised opener. "He definitely needs to practice before he plays," Carlesimo said, referring to at least Monday and Tuesday. "If he doesn't practice, he won't play."

Via The Southern Illinoisan

Rookie Green Hurt In Sonics Win Vs. Suns

Chris Wilcox scored 27 points but fifth draft pick Jeff Green sprained his ankle in the Seattle SuperSonics' 121-108 win over the Phoenix Suns in the exhibition finale for both teams Friday night.

Steve Nash's return to his home province was the first NBA game in Vancouver since 2001, when the Grizzlies moved to Memphis.

Amare Stoudemire had an encouraging 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns and Nash had a preseason-high 12 assists while wowing an adoring crowd that sold out General Motors Place for something other than Canucks' hockey.

Green sprained his left ankle early in the second half. The rookie from Georgetown, starting because Kevin Durant was already back in Seattle with his own sprained left ankle, went to the locker room for treatment. He then returned to finish the third period before leaving for the night with 13 points.

Durant, the second overall pick, spent Friday shooting and walking on a treadmill. New coach P.J. Carlesimo said Durant, his rookie shooting guard who turned the ankle late in a game Tuesday, was upbeat and feeling better. Yet Carlesimo didn't know whether Durant will be ready for the opener Wednesday at Denver. Doctors hope to have a better idea after the team returns to practice Sunday.

Via Seattle Times

Sonics Exercise Options On Petro And Sene

The Seattle SuperSonics announced on Friday that they have exercised the fourth-year team option on center Johan Petro and the third-year team option on center Mouhamed Sene for the 2008-09 season.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Starbucks Ends Sonics' Sponsorship

Starbucks Corp. has ended a long-term sponsorship of the Seattle Sonics a year after the coffee giant's chairman, Howard Schultz, sold the NBA team.

The company also will no longer pour its drinks in KeyArena, the home of the Sonics, as Seattle-based Caffe Appassionato has won that contract and is now a sponsor.

"We are moving away from sports sponsorships," said Valerie O'Neil, a Starbucks' spokeswoman. "The Sonics' sponsorship by Starbucks was completely separate from Howard's ownership of the team. The sponsorship predated Howard's ownership, and it has been a long-term relationship that we decided not to renew. ... The timing is coincidental."

Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Stern: Seattle Showed 'No Heart' In Sonics' Solutions

Those expecting NBA Commissioner David Stern to ride to the rescue and save Sonics' basketball in Seattle might want to think again.

Speaking on a national conference call with NBA writers Thursday, Stern sounded pessimistic when asked about the Sonics' future in Seattle, saying his two trips to the area to promote an arena solution showed "there was no heart whatsoever for assisting a Sonics' team."

Stern mentioned last November's passage of Initiative 91 in Seattle, which prohibits the city's ability to fund sports arenas without getting a fair-market return, calling that roadblock "unique in the annals of arena building."

Stern, who just finished two days of owner's meetings in New York, said Seattle's situation differs from other arena conflicts in terms of the seeming backlash in its own community toward a potential solution.

"I think every situation is individualized from the league's perspective," he said. "It's fair to say there was a very sort of proactive anti-Seattle Sonics' movement."

Stern said he consulted with lobbyists and arena consultants hired by Clay Bennett's new ownership group but sounded resigned to the fact the team could be moved as soon as Bennett gets out of the KeyArena lease.

Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Durant's Tests Reveal Good News For Sonics

If all goes well, Seattle SuperSonics' rookie Kevin Durant should recover from a sprained left ankle in time to play in the team?s regular-season opener on Halloween in Denver against the Nuggets.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and X-rays revealed no fractures in Durant?s injured ankle. The second overall pick in the June NBA draft did not make the trip to Portland on Wednesday, where top overall pick Greg Oden was also unable to play because he had season-ending surgery last month.

Durant will be re-evaluated next week, meaning he will miss the final exhibition against Phoenix on Friday in Vancouver, B.C.

Via The News Tribune

Durant Sprains Ankle; Leaves Arena On Crutches

Kevin Durant, the second overall choice in the NBA draft, left the arena using crutches and was wearing a soft boot after spraining his left ankle late in the SuperSonics' exhibition game loss to Golden State on Tuesday night.

A Sonics spokesman said in an e-mail late Tuesday that Durant will not travel to Portland for Wednesday night's game or to the team's preseason finale against Phoenix in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday. That leaves his status in doubt for Seattle's season opener Oct. 31 at Denver.

He scored 21 points, above his team-leading average of 18.4 points through the first five preseason games.

Via USA Today

Denver Waives Five Players Prior To Opener

The Nuggets on Tuesday waived forward Stacey Augmon, guard Anthony Roberson, forward-center Jelani McCoy, forward-center Brad Stricker and guard Mike Wilks.

The Nuggets' roster is down to 14 with 12 active spots available for Wednesday's season opener vs. the SuperSonics.

Via Yahoo.com

Oklahoma City Thunder Archives

Sonics Looking To Collison At Center Spot

Sonics Waive Jermaine Jackson

Rockets Smoke Sonics In Durant's Home Debut

Judge Weighs Sending Sonics' Case To Arbitration

Lakers Expect Bryant To Play Thursday

Kobe Bryant returned to practice after sitting out the previous three days, and coach Phil Jackson said he expects Kobe to play Thursday tonight.

Sonics Ponder What To Do With Wally

Petro's Heartbeat Back To Regular

Court Hearing Set For Sonics, City Of Seattle

Durant Reaching Out To LeBron

Kevin Durant and LeBron James have struck up a relationship and have been talking by phone.

Sonics Rookies Come On Strong

LeBron Hurts Shoulder In Preseason Loss Vs. Sonics

LeBron James hurt his shoulder against the Sonics, but it is not believed to be serious.

Ridnour Breaks Nose In Preseason Opener

Sonics Already Hit By Injury

Sonics' D-League Affiliate To Hold Open Tryouts In Boise

Durant Looking Like Seattle's Shooting Guard

Sonics Add Jermaine Jackson To Training Camp Roster

Sonics, Storm Fans To Sue Their Teams

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