The Moore American

Sports

August 14, 2013

Bennett’s odyssey

(Continued)

MOORE —

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 that 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 and turn it into the Thunder.

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."

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."

Yet, despite the success, Bennett is not ready to think about his legacy just yet. Both he and the Thunder still have unfinished business to attend to before he gets to that point.

"My view when I wake up everyday is do the best I can at whatever it is I'm focused on," Bennett said. "We can't rest. We must continue to work hard, to improve to get better. To make a better city, a better state. The beneficiaries are our young people and our kids. We can't quit that. We can't quit focusing on doing good things. That drives me."

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