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Originally published Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Team sets up shop in OKC

Three moving trucks arrived in downtown Oklahoma City on Friday to unload the former Sonics' belongings at the NBA franchise's office headquarters...

The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Three moving trucks arrived in downtown Oklahoma City on Friday to unload the former Sonics' belongings at the NBA franchise's office headquarters. Two box trucks and a tractor-trailer arrived at 10:21 a.m., and the first thing to roll off the truck was a basketball.

As soon as the back door to the first box truck was lifted, the ball — stamped with an NBA logo — came rolling out.

"It was a nice touch, wasn't it?" said Pete Winemiller, a team vice president for guest relations who has helped oversee the move.

Ken Hughen, a project manager with A-1 Freeman Moving Group, said several smaller loads had already been transported the approximately 2,000 miles between the cities.

Winemiller said there were 10,000 pounds of equipment and furniture in the load that arrived Friday. Winemiller hopes the move is substantially done by the end of September. The team has set up its offices downtown.

Bennett's ownership group finalized a settlement last week that set out what items will stay in Seattle and what will come to Oklahoma City. Many items won't be shipped until after the WNBA's Seattle Storm finishes its season.

Winemiller said the team made an inventory of its belongings, "everything down to that last stapler to that office set."

The franchise is also footing the bill to move employees who have chosen to relocate. Winemiller said he didn't know how many are doing that but "there are a lot of familiar faces upstairs." He also refused to reveal how much the move will cost.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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