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E-mails are becoming the smoking gun of the 21st century. Pick up a phone, send smoke signals, say it with flowers. But e-mails, they'll getcha.

E-mails sent by Seattle SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett to various parties may become pivotal in whether he gets to move the basketball franchise from the Pacific Northwest to his home state of Oklahoma for next season. The city of Seattle, which is trying to at least postpone the move through legal action in federal court, is using Bennett's e-mails to prove that he violated provisions of his original sale agreement that he would make good-faith efforts to keep the team in Seattle by resolving arena issues.

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That remains to be worked out in court but the e-mail that caught my attention was where Bennett apears to be telling NBA commissioner David Stern that he was using Las Vegas as a relocation possibility in public comments because, well, who would possibly take seriously the notion that Oklahoma City could be a serious rival. In the process, he disses "leadership" in Washington state as being geographically-challenged, either as elitists or rubes.

The "threat of Las Vegas has moved the needle"  on attention given the Sonics' problems, Bennett wrote to the NBA. And added, "Leadership in the market has never valued the threat of moving to Oklahoma City. They don't even know where it is."

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Photo credit:  Associated Press

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