NBA vs. Seattle
In one of the most drawn-out sports melodramas in recent memory, a string of recent events and decisions has left the Sacramento Kings unlikely to relocate to Seattle.
Here’s a brief recap of the past few months and what happened.
Rumors circulated in through the blogopshere that a Seattle-based investor group composed of Steve Ballmer, Chris Hansen and members of the Nordstrom family is poised to buy the Sacramento Kings from the maligned and financially-troubled Maloof family. With nervous excitement, Seattleites gossip to one another in independent coffee shops over low-fat soy lattes that this might finally be it.
USA Today reported that the Maloof family would be officially selling their share of the team to the Seattle investor group, although the story really broke on the Twitterverse first. Seattleites rejoice.
The Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, speaks out against the offer and announces plans to gather a rival investor group to pay for a new arena and keep the team in Sactown. “Why didn’t we have a mayor like that?” Seattleites ask one another.
A Sacramento investor group takes shape. Then, 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, Qualcomm CEO Paul E. Jacobs and the leader of the group, Silicon Valley uber-billionaire Vivek Ranadive, pledge funding for a new arena in Sacramento. Seattleites start to get jittery(er).
In a stunning dagger to the heart of those hoping to bring the NBA back to Seattle, the NBA Board of Governors Relocation Committee voted unanimously against moving the team to Seattle. It looked like the making of “Kingsgate: Requiem for a Team,” would be delayed.
Seattleites haven’t been this disappointed in a sports team since the Mariners in the year 2002-2013.
In a power play, Chris Hansen increased the size of his offer to buy 65 percent of the Kings by a casual $75 million dollars. This would drive the total value of the team up to $625 million if sold, the highest any NBA franchise has ever been valued.
While driving from one coffee shop to another, Seattleites eagerly play Wu-Tang’s “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” in their cars and remain hopeful.
The NBA Relocation and Finance Committee met to discuss the ongoing auction of the team. Although the NBA said nothing, it was reported that no new recommendations would be issued. A final vote will be held Wednesday the 15th.
Seattleites are upset, and rightfully so.
Sidenote: The Maloofs have stated that if the NBA blocks the sale of the franchise to Hansen & friends, they will go ahead and sell 20 percent of the team to the Seattle investor group anyway – a move that 75 percent of owners would have to approve, so it’s not quite clear if this is plausible.
So where does that leave us? Hoping that Hansen’s increased bid might sway the owners. If the final vote is against relocation, it’s uncertain what will happen, but Seattle’s search for an NBA team might need to start over.