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Stern confirms Seattle group has filed for relocation of Kings

Feb 6, 2013, 8:19 PM EDT

File photo of NBA Commissioner Stern speaks in New York Reuters

While officials and leaders in Sacramento are digging in for a fight to save their team, the efforts of the potential new owners to move the Kings to Seattle for next season are moving ahead.

NBA Commissioner David Stern confirmed Wednesday that the Chris Hansen/Steve Baller ownership group — which has an agreement to buy the Kings from the Maloof family — has filed for relocation to move the team to Seattle. The Associated Press has the details.

Stern spoke on Wednesday night in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, “very strong,” and that the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle.

This really isn’t a surprise; the new owners have moved quickly on the issue and have worked hard to create an impression that the deal is done.

Eventually the fate of the Kings is going to come down to a vote of the owners.

There may be lawyers and judges involved, but eventually if the other NBA owners approve the sale of the team to the Hansen/Ballmer group the only question would be when the team would move. Sacramento is working hard to put together an offer that appeals to the NBA owners as well as to throw up hurdles in the path of the sale, but eventually the vote of the owners is what will sway the deal one way or another.

Come All-Star weekend when Stern speaks to the media we should have a better sense of which way the owners are leaning on that vote. The vote would take place at the league’s Board of Governor’s meeting in April in New York.

  1. azsportsfan12 - Feb 6, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Start a Petition to bring a team back to Seattle! http://www.fanpetitions.com/

  2. seattlenative57 - Feb 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Sonics, baby!

  3. seattlesuperchronic - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    seattlenative57

    I miss Kevin Calabro calling games. The dude is a top notch play by play guy. Sonics!

  4. ldr83favre - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I feel bad for Sacramento. I’ll always remember their breathtaking, down-to-the-wire, seven-game series against the Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference Finals. And they certainly have many loyal fans and supporters.

    But they have been largely irrelevant ever since. They need a new identity.

    And the return of the Seattle Sonics is a very good, almost natural, feeling for the NBA.

  5. jacobknicks - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    “Steve Baller” has a fantastic ring to it

  6. bigwii - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    I’m happy they might come back the SuperSonics was always the coolest name to me. But it does come bittersweet because even though Seattle has a great fan base and they got robbed when they lost their team to OKC especially with the success of the Thunder but Sacramento also has a great fan base why couldn’t the Clippers move up there L.A. already has plenty of teams anyway happy for Seattle sad for Sac-Town

    • dannymac17 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Stupid. Clippers arent going anywhere. They are the best show in town.

  7. smcgaels1997 - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    No surprise, this was expected..a formality that had to happen. I get the feeling it’s nowhere near over

  8. smcgaels1997 - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    This article is right, they are working overdrive to give the impression it’s a done deal. Wonder what Seattle will think if this is eventually denied

  9. andrewproughcfe - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Perfect end to Stern’s career. It wouldn’t seem right if Stern retired before ripping off another fan base in pursuit of a few hundred million more bucks for the owners.

  10. reasonablemindsays - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    This is interesting because in the SonicsGate documentary, they mentioned how it would be bittersweet for the Sonics to return because they knew they would have to make the another fan base go through the same pain and suffering that they did.

    Only this time, Sacramento isn’t that big of a media market as Seattle so I doubt any expansion team starts up there anytime soon. So the Kings removal is most likely permanent. It’s also a shame for the Kings, as they never will ever get to avenge this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxTjOPImyts.

    • mazblast - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      While I’m sympathetic to the situation Sacramento fans find themselves in, it should be mentioned that there was no sympathy, no regrets from Sacramento when they GOT the team from Kansas City. Live by the carpetbag, die by the carpetbag.

      And as for the attitude of some Seattle folks that “we’re just getting back what we unjustly lost”, that’s all well and good, but in the words of Tennessee Williams, “Do I detect the sweet smell of hypocrisy here?” If it is unjust to lose a team by ownership maneuvering and league manipulation, it is also unjust to gain one the same way.

  11. eugenesaxe - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Sacramento has had plenty of time to accomplish what Seattle already has: find a buyer and get a new stadium. Both are done deals. The sooner the Maloofs are out of charge, the better.

  12. cornbreadbbqred - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Commissioner Stern is good at ripping off fan bases. I remind everyone of the travesty of justice in denying the Lakers the Chris Paul trade. Unprecedented in sports and a conflict of interest lawsuit waiting to happen. I would be dubious of any thing he seems to facilitate or promote, “in the interest of basketball”.

  13. dans761 - Feb 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Stern can right the wrong he did in 2008 by not lifting a finger to help Seattle keep its team. Did NOTHING! He needs to fight for Seattle like he’s fought for New Orleans, okc, Sacramento etc etc… Seattle IS basketball! Thats part of this cities identity. July 2nd 2008 Seattle lost a part of its soul!

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