Notebook | Sonics players surprised by margin in Okla. vote
The whopping margin of victory in the vote to make $97 million improvements to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City caused a few Sonics to pause...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tuesday's game at a glance
Player of the game: Tayshaun Prince scored 24 points.
Play of the game: With 1:41 remaining, Detroit reserve forward Amir Johnson blocked Kevin Durant's shot. Durant retrieved the ball for a quick layup, but Jason Maxiell rejected the putback attempt and sent the ball flying into the seats.
Key statistic: Detroit attempted 37 free throws and converted 31. The Sonics were 20 of 25 at the line.
Turning point: Tied 78-78 early in the fourth quarter, the Sonics managed just one field goal while Detroit scored 12 points and took a 90-80 lead.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The whopping margin of victory in the vote to make $97 million improvements to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City caused a few Sonics to pause after Tuesday's 100-97 defeat to the Detroit Pistons.
Most players expected the measure, which will extend a one-cent sales tax, was going to succeed, but few believed it would receive 61.9 percent of the vote.
The overwhelming civic support gives Sonics owner Clay Bennett ammunition as he attempts to move the team to the Sooner state before the start of the 2008-09 season. His relocation bid will be decided at the NBA Board of Governors meeting April 17-18.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league had no comment on Tuesday's ballot measure.
A few players, however, believe the city of Seattle is in dire straits in trying to keep its NBA team.
"Right now, it doesn't look good, but then anything can happen," said guard Luke Ridnour, who grew up in Blaine. "Most guys on the team don't have an opinion one way or the other. We're focused on basketball and controlling what we can control.
"All I've ever known is the Sonics being in Seattle, so it would be a little strange for me if they're not there."
The city of Seattle is suing the Sonics to play games at KeyArena until their lease expires in 2010. The court case is scheduled to begin June 16.
"It affects me more than other guys," said Nick Collison, who has a house on Queen Anne. "I've been living primarily in Seattle for about five years.
"Personally it would be a big move if we have to move, but that's part of playing in the NBA."
Detroit rookie Rodney Stuckey, who played for Kentwood High School in Covington, played his first game against the Sonics. He finished with five points on 2-for-4 shooting, four assists and two rebounds.
He missed the first 25 games of the season, including the Pistons' game in Seattle on Nov. 11, because of a broken left hand.
"It was just another game," Stuckey said. "It felt good."
• C Robert Swift underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee Thursday. Dr. Stephen Lombardo performed the surgery in Los Angeles.
|Seattle||41||13||24||19 — 97|
|Detroit||28||25||24||23 — 100|
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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