Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

August 12, 2013

Bennett reflects on bringing Thunder to OKC

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY — However, Bennett still remembers what it was like for him in those early years when he and the Professional Basketball Club purchased the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006. It was an established franchise with an NBA title under its belt and solid fan base in the Pacific Northwest.

But running a team in Washington State was not his dream. Amid controversy and being labeled a villain by Seattle fans, Bennett found a way to transplant the Sonics to Oklahoma City, changing the name in the process

While that period was difficult, Bennett now cherishes that time because it gave the franchise a foundation to build upon.

“I am gratified by that,” Bennett said. “I am proud of our people. Especially proud of the players who were at the center of the focus when we moved here. We learned a lot in those early days. I think you do learn more through difficult times and we certainly had them. But we are focused on doing better and getting better. Keeping this going.”

Yet, while Bennett is appreciative of the acclaim he has received, the President of Dorchester Capital Corporation says he was just part of a large group of men and women who made everything happen.

“From the beginning, I’ve had some misgivings,” Bennett said of his HOF induction. “This is so much more than me. It’s about many, many people who’ve contributed to this effort. I am honored to be the single recipient. But I am here as a representative of a lot of people who made it happen. I just try to do the best I can in my business career and my civic career. I am really pleased with how things have happened in Oklahoma and how Oklahoma is doing so well. It really makes me proud.”

Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0292web.jpg ‘All-State Sluggers’

    When Claremore’s Matt Whatley takes his place behind the plate tonight in the Oklahoma Coaches Association Large School East-West All-State baseball game, the former Zebra catcher will be right at home.
    Whatley, who started four years as the catcher for the Zebras, finds his final high school baseball game taking place in his future college ballpark.
    Last November, Whatley and his long-time friend, Bryce Howe, signed NCAA Division I baseball scholarships to play for the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles.
    Tonight, those dreams come true for Whatley and Jenks outfielder Cadon Owens, who will be joining his former Bearcats teammate on the East squad. Also, Verdigris' Ryan Skalnik will start at third base for the Large East All-State team.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GOLF: OSU's Jelly wins Oklahoma State Amateur

    Oklahoma State's Brendon Jelley captured the Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship on Wednesday with a 1-up victory over Preston Crawford at The Patriot Golf Club.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU wrestling to host Alumni Reunion

    Oklahoma State wrestling will host an alumni reunion for former Cowboy wrestlers, trainers and managers on Sept. 19-20 in Stillwater.

    July 29, 2014

  • OU's Mixon claims self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sooners' secondary gets ready for changes

    There’s a reason Oklahoma is the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 Conference and a front-runner to get a spot in the first College Football Playoff.

    The experience – especially on defense – is the leading cause.

    July 29, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: Adair aiming high in 2014

    Adair's Lady Warriors have never shied away from the spotlight.

    Head coach Chell Looney's team will have plenty of chances to earn respect and a shot at the program's third straight regional tournament appearance.

    July 29, 2014

  • Cat Conti earns her stripes as football official

    Cat Conti never played sports, let alone had any interest in them, when she was growing up in Southern California. She wanted to be a Hollywood star.

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald: Union push unified Northwestern

    No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats.

    For that, he credits the push for them to unionize.

    July 29, 2014

  • NFL: Make or break season for Rams QB Bradford

    It's become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.

    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he's supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 29, 2014