October 26, 2006
- Seattle SuperSonics & Storm President and CEO Wally Walker will leave his position with the franchise as it coincides with the sale of the club, effective Tuesday, Oct. 31. Below are statements from Walker, Clay Bennett, Chairman of the Professional Basketball Club (PBC), and Howard Schultz, Chairman of the Basketball Club of Seattle (BCOS).
With the transfer of the Sonics & Storm to the Professional Basketball Club imminent, it is time to announce that I will leave the Sonics & Storm in conjunction with the ownership change next week.
Iíve enjoyed more than 19 years with the Sonics organization in a variety of roles and the last 12-plus years as a minority owner. Iím humbled by the opportunities and experiences Iíve had with the Sonics, and Iím very proud of this organization.
This has been a great place to work and to share the emotional ups and downs alongside people I both like and respect. This company is filled with people who are willing to take responsibility during difficult times, and to share credit when things are going well. These traits are incredibly difficult to find in organizations, particularly so in the spotlight of professional sports.
The future of the teams are very bright, which youíll soon see. As the Basketball Club of Seattle passes the torch to Clay Bennett and his partners, I offer them my full support in pursuit of their vision for the franchises. It is critical, for the sake of this community, that the teams remain here.
I had informed my current partners last spring that, in any circumstance, the 2006-07 season was to be my last year of leading the Sonics & Storm. Now, with the ownership transaction days away, it is the right time for the new ownership to set their course and for me to contemplate a new adventure.
On behalf of the Professional Basketball Club LLC, I want to express my deep appreciation to Wally for his many valuable contributions to the Sonics and Storm over an impressive 19-year career. We will always consider him a part of the family, and know he will share in what we believe will be a great future for the organization. We wish him and his family the very best.
On behalf of the Basketball Club of Seattle, I want to thank Wally for his leadership over the past five-and-a-half years. Wallyís passion for the game and love for the Sonics and Storm were his guideposts for all decisions. During our time working together, Wally led the effort to bring six-time NBA All Star Ray Allen to Seattle, and was instrumental in building a foundation that would lead to the Stormís 2004 WNBA Championship. I thank Wally for his contributions to the teams and the community.