WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today welcomed news of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) vote to relocate the Supersonics franchise to Oklahoma City.
“The relocation of the NBA Supersonics franchise to Oklahoma City is a slam-dunk for not only the city, but the whole state of Oklahoma,” Senator Inhofe said. “Oklahoma City proved itself to be a first-rate city for a NBA franchise after its strong support for the Hornets franchise and the City of New Orleans while it recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
“Despite last-minute lobbying by Washington State's political leaders to derail the vote on relocation, Oklahoma City and our entire state have taken the latest step toward being the permanent home of a NBA franchise. As evidenced by the lopsided vote of the owners, Oklahoma City and the Sonics management presented a strong case to the NBA.
“The Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City has truly been a team effort: from the state legislature's passage of and the Governor’s support for the Quality Jobs incentive legislation, the efforts of Mayor Mick Cornett and the local Oklahoma City business and civic community, to the outstanding leadership of Clay Bennett, Aubrey McClendon, Tom Ward, Jeffrey Records and the rest of the Sonics ownership team. Finally, our state can boast some of the best fans in the country - this move is a testament to their dedication.”
Senator Inhofe yesterday sent a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern urging him to allow the process of voting on the relocation to continue moving forward after a last-minute lobbying effort by the Senators from Washington State was undertaken to derail the process.