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This article is more than 9 years old.
Sonicsgate is driven in part by the filmmakers’ conviction that they’ve got an important story to tell.

That conviction has driven director Jason Reid and the producers who worked with him to include enough material to push their film to almost two hours, which may feel long to some viewers.

But anybody patient enough to stay with Sonicsgate will be rewarded with the careful documentation of a series of sleazy, shameful assertions, misrepresentations, and lies by a slew of people involved in owning or trying to own the Seattle Super Sonics before the team was eventually moved to Oklahoma City. Beyond the obvious villains, eventual team owner Clay Bennett paramount among them, there are plenty of lesser miscreants: NBA Commissioner David Stern, for example, and politicians, team officials, and others anxious to cover their backsides as the team slides out of town.

I don’t know to what extent what happened in Seattle before the Sonics left is representative of what has happened in other cities that have lost teams. Certainly there would seem to be at least a few factors common to most relocations: greed, feeling of entitlement on the part of ownership regarding public financing of a new building, threats from the owners and Commissioner Stern, and the presence of a potential new home city full of enthusiastic and naïve fans. Whether the film is the story of all teams that relocate or only one, Sonicsgate certainly demonstrates that in this instance, anybody who thought of the basketball team as anything other than a moveable commodity was a sucker doomed to be disappointed.

To visit the official Sonicsgate web page, click here.

This program aired on April 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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