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Last night on TNT they discussed the Sonics situation. They had quotes from several different people that are in the middle of the situation, as well as commentary by “Sir” Charles Barkley.
Barkley’s best: “I watch Judge Judy and Joe Brown and neither of them would let them out of a lease.”
And that set of the firecrackers in my brain. (Some call them synapses, but mine aren’t firing so hot today…)
Many of you know that I am (as well as an aspiring sports journalist) an actor and a playwright, and I decided it might be fun to see what would happen if the City of Seattle took Clay Bennett and David Stern to Judge Judy over the Key Arena lease. This is gold. (With actual quotes from all…and SNL.)
Announcer: You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Sheindlin. The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is her courtroom. This is Judge Judy.
Byrd the Bailiff: Order, all rise
Announcer: Seattle Supersonics owner Clay Bennett and NBA Commissioner David Stern are suing the city of Seattle to try and break the lease at the Supersonics home: Key Arena. Former U.S. Senator Slade Gordon is representing the City of Seattle.
Byrd the Bailiff: Be seated! Your honor, this is case number 758. Bennett vs. The City of Seattle. All parties have been sworn in.
Judge Judy: Byrd, I see the goatee is back.
Byrd the Bailiff: Well, I'm single again, Judge.
Judge Judy: Too bad I'm married again.
Byrd the Bailiff: The judge is a flirt.
Judge Judy: Hey, its not a sin to look.
Byrd the Bailiff: The judge is married, but she ain't dead.
Judge Judy: Mr. Bennett, you are looking at moving the Seattle Supersonics to your home town of Oklahoma City, Correct?
Bennett: We are acutely interested and very focused on bringing a team to Oklahoma City. It's a tricky spot to be in because you don't want to overstep your boundaries ... but the Sonics, yes, are a possibility and a team that would do well not just here, but I'm sure anywhere that they played.
Judge Judy: Have you ever heard of the K.I.S.S. principle? "Keep It Simple, Stupid."
Stern: I can say without reservation that Oklahoma City is now at the top of the list.
Judge Judy: I think you ought to be quiet. You know, they don't need anybody stirring up the pot. You're a pot-stirrer.
Slade: Your Honor, I believe that the lease is pretty self-explanatory.
Judge Judy: Stop getting hysterical.
Slade: I’m not, Your Honor.
Judge Judy: Who are you?Slade: Slade Gordon. I am representing the City of Seattle.
Judge Judy: I'm speaking. When my mouth moves, yours stops.
Bennett: The Key Arena won’t cut it.
Slade: A performance clause is a contractual duty requiring the parties to specifically perform the duties and terms of the contract.
Judge Judy: Do you come from a long line of idiots?
Slade: We have a group of potential owners in line to get an arena built. These are a few of the most prolific men on the West Coast who want to keep the history and the team in Seattle.
Bennett: I said I would leave the history.
Judge Judy: Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.Stern: That is a PR stunt, Your Honor.
Bennett: I am not selling this team. We are going to the arena that has been approved in OKC.
Slade: You can afford to build the arena, why should the poor in any city have to pay for your team?
Judge Judy: You will talk when it is your turn.
Bennett: (under his breath) At least OKC has an arena deal.
Judge Judy: Never combine business with pleasure; that's not good business. Got what I mean?
Slade: Are you 8?
Bennett: You can go to hell!
Judge Judy: ...Did you just curse at him? Get out!
Bennett sulks out.
Judge Judy: Mr. Stern, did you not say a few years back that Oklahoma City would not be a viable city for the NBA?
Stern: Umm, well…
Judge Judy: Did you forget you were coming to court today?
Slade: I believe that this is a moot point. As long as the lease is in place, the Seattle Supersonics will be in Seattle. That means for two more years there will be Basketball in Seattle.
Judge Judy: I don't care what you think! I'm the one who has to determine what is fair.
Stern: Your honor, this is an NBA matter, and we will deal with it as such. We have an owners meeting coming up where we will vote on the move.
Judge Judy: And you ought to be ashamed of yourself!
Bennett is heard outside giggling
Slade: That move will not happen for two years as long as the lease stands.
Judge Judy: So far this case is going in your favor; does it look like I need any help?... THEN SHUT UP! I need to deliberate.
5 minutes pass.
Judge Judy: Let me explain something to you, my husband once offended me on July 6th 1978. I can tell you exactly where I was sitting, and what he was eating. Most people have a memory of important dates and times. Now if somebody, gave me/loaned to be $5000 I would remember some of the circumstances surrounding it - because you, sir seem to have a very, very good memory of everything you did - calling the bank, calling the title company, getting the checks, sitting down and going over everything - the only thing you don't have a memory of is "Can I borrow $5000?". Judgment to the plaintiff for the amount of $5000 - thank you.
Bennett comes in and dances like Yosemite Sam. The others look confused as Judy leaves.