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OKC-based Sonics owners try to keep out writer's trial testimony

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Bitingly witty "Smoke Signals" screenwriter, National Book Award winner, American Indian poet and " for those who don't know " rabid SuperSonics b-ball fan Sherman Alexie wrapped up his testimony in the Sonics trial last week. Controversy over his taking the stand seemed to start with a bang but went out with a whimper.

According to The Seattle Times, the Sonics' Oklahoma City-based ownership group didn't want Alexie testifying at the trial, which will decide whether the team can head to OKC early or must stay through fall of 2010, the end of its lease.

Why the concern over Alexie? Probably 'cause his literary pursuits include penning the "Sonics Death Watch" column in The Stranger, Seattle's alt-weekly.

"Other than being a season ticket holder, it is unclear what foundation or testimonial knowledge" Alexie's perspective would offer the trial, the Sonics owners' attorneys stated in a motion filed in May, the Times reported. "What is clear are his biased, profanity-laden views."

Alexie had his own response to "Clay Bennett and his Brooks Brothered Gang of Lawyers" in a June 4 column.

"The Oklahoma lawyers "¦ accuse me of being 'irrelevant' and selectively quote from my Stranger columns," he commented, clinching with what he found most "disturbing": "The "¦ owners think that a 12-year season-ticket holder like me is 'irrelevant.'"

Whew. Is it getting hot in here?

At any rate, a federal judge cleared Alexie for testifying in the trial, which began June 16. Per posts by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer online, Alexie stated his reasons for wanting the team to stay on the stand, including: "You are talking about excellence and I want to see the very best. "¦ I want two more years of the Greek gods." (Excellence? Gods? He is funny!)

There were a few more comments, but that was about it. Ah, fizzle. CFN intern Bucky was hoping for more fireworks from the Sundance award winner.

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