I hope you saw Henry's recent post about the bad economy's effect upon "Thunder" co-owner Aubrey McClendon (he's a dude, don't bother google image searching).
Henry quotes the Wall Street Journal's Robert Frank...
Mr. McClendon is one of the top wine collectors in the country, known for his love of Burgundy and Bordeaux. He also is known for his cash crunch. Last fall, he was forced to sell 94% of his stake in Chesapeake to pay back margin loans. Mr. McClendon's stake once was valued at more than $2 billion. So it wouldn't be surprising if he were to want to liquidate some of his, er, liquid assets.
Mr. McClendon, through a spokesman, didn't respond to a request for comment.
Sotheby's says it expects the sale to fetch at least $5 million -- not much for a former billionaire, but these days every little million help.
What I wouldn't give for a bottle of the prized 1988 Duránt Kévin.
That auction is not very good news. The one "certainty" during the whole Seattle/"Thunder" mess was that, sure, the Okies are the devil incarnate but they are undeniably wealthy. They probably still are... just a few weeks ago Clay Bennett went so far as to call "Oklahoma City" recession-proof. He also likes his team's logo, though, so he might be living in an alternate reality.
For today's poll, please take absolutely everything into account (the economy, wins/losses, local interest in the team, small market, ownership group, television exposure, what will happen when KD bolts?, etc.) because I'm asking this as a serious question. Remember, Harry Glickman had to scrape and scrap to get the Trail Blazers franchise. And look: it's 2009 and Portland's still humming.
From one small market to another: does "Oklahoma City" have a long-term future in the NBA?
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)