Let it be clear I am not a sports fan, and I am actively hostile to spending tax dollars on sports palaces and similar bribes to keep assorted for-profit professional sports venues in town. I get positively cranky when the citizenry votes overwhelmingly against such bribery/extortion and city leaders rush to the legislature to get the deal rammed down the throats of the citizenry on an "emergency" basis that precludes the voters from staging a referendum. Let the team owners and their fans pay for their own damned toys - they can throw bake sales for all I care.
Further, when the stadiums bugger up traffic in all directions for miles with badly behaved fans trying to get to the games or go home half-drunk...I begin to contemplate initiatives proposing defenestration as an appropriate deterrent to such bad behavior by public officials.
That said, this one time I'll come down on the side of the team owners. The Sonics ownership has paid out a boat load of money over the years in salaries and to buy the team itself (along with its associated trademarks) and frankly, it IS their team. Yes, they have a lease with the city for 2 more years for Key Arena - but it's not in the interests of the city to have a team with actively hostile membership playing here.
Mr. Bennett - notify the NBA that you are forfeiting all home games in Seattle for the next two years...and ask to be allowed to play makeup games in Oklahoma. Then strike the word "Seattle" from all team regalia/publicity/materials, and finally, begin a "Seattle is a rotten place to do business" publicity campaign that you continue until such time as the city recognizes you're ownership of the team. You may be obligated to pay them rent, but as far as I can tell that's the only obligation you have.
Seattle's liberal establishment has needed a good solid kick in the slats for a number of years...here's hoping you'll volunteer to apply it.