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NBA committee recommends against move of Kings to Seattle, team almost certainly remains in Sacramento

Apr 29, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT

Clippers Kings Basketball AP

The Sacramento Kings are going to remain the Sacramento Kings.

And Seattle is going to remain without an NBA team.

A collection of a dozen NBA owners — making up a group looking into the sale and relocation of the Kings to a group from Seattle — voted unanimously to recommended against allowing the team to move, the league confirmed on Monday afternoon (the story was first reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports). This will kill the sale to the Seattle group.

While the full NBA ownership will vote on the issue next week, they have always been expected to follow the recommendation of committee. This is a done deal barring some major, unexpected revelation.

The Maloofs had struck a deal to sell the team to a Seattle group led by venture capitalist Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. From NBA Commissioner David Stern on down the league had called this a good offer that included a new stadium and more. The Seattle group was very confident it was about to return the Sonics to Seattle.

But led by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, the city put together a counter-offer that was led by their own billionaire — Vivek Ranadive, a Silicon  Valley guy who is a minority owner of the Warriors, along with Mark Mastrov of 24-hour-Fitness — and came with its own stadium.

In recent weeks several owners had said this seemed like a 50-50 proposition, but things being equal the owners decided to go with the incumbent.

Why? Because many these owners need to make  pitches to their own communities in the next decade or so asking for money to upgrade their arena if not build a new one. If a city like Sacramento did everything they could to get a new stadium and were ditched anyway, what does that say to mayors and city councils around the nation.

The Maloofs do not have a deal to sell the team to the Sacramento group but will be under tremendous pressure to make one — both financial pressure and from the league. Expect that deal to come together fast.

As for Seattle, Hansen will likely keep pushing the arena plan forward and look for another team he can buy and move (NBA Commissioner David Stern has said league expansion is not in the cards right now). The problem is — and why they fought so hard for this deal is — that there are no obvious candidates on the horizon. While there are a few teams in smaller markets we could point to, all currently have strong ownership groups in place with no plans to sell.

  1. threatlevelxmidnight - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    I wonder how Chris Hansen feels about that $30 million non-refundable deposit now? I hope whatever happens here, the Maloofs are gone for good. I was looking forward to going to Sonics games again, but I’m glad we won’t be “stealing” a team away from Sac. They literally have nothing else.

  2. mrlaloosh - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Seattle Timberwolves? Sounds about right.

    • adoombray - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Taylor is not selling to anyone who will move the team and he’s healthy enough to live long enough to keep the promise. He was a senator for Minnesota. he’s not gonna do his state like that.

      • mazblast - May 1, 2013 at 12:58 AM

        The guys who would “never” move a franchise are usually the ones who do. See Modell, Art (rhymes with H***, where he is probably residing now).

  3. pdxrobocat - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Congratulations Sacramento You Defended your team like a city should.
    the nba pits cities against each other.
    pretty crappy way to run a league if you ask me

  4. jeffesky - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    As a sonics fan this really is the right move and im happy for sactown fans. never ever felt right about us taking the kings. hipocracy is what that is. id rather us never have a team unless its expansion. we got the hwaks and the m’s and i support them.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Plus you’re going to get the Coyotes, too :)

  5. glink123 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Give it five years. Sacramento is a dead sports town. Can’t wait for the next NBA franchise to go up for sale, and nobody makes an offer. The Maloofs should be forced into bankruptcy.

    • jacksonkane - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      They are not a great *sports town* but they only have 1 sport. I grew up in San Antonio (which may be a good Sports town) and we freakin loved our Spurs. I lived in Minneapolis, LA, and now Seattle. It just doesn’t compare. When all you have is a team, even if they are a miserable franchise of late (with terrible owners), it means something.

  6. seahonky - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I don’t care at all. I hate NBA basketball. The Kings would have a tough time playing in the WNBA. I just couldn’t see myself paying what? $50 for a ticket? And watch your team consistently lose by 20 point every game? No, not me. Sacramento can go ahead and buy this pathetic team for $550 million and then spend another $500 million for your arena and go broke in the process like the rest of California

    • Tim_Gilmour - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:46 AM

      I always comment on things I don’t care about too.

      • tuberippin - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        I don’t care about your comment.

    • ryanrockzzz - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      You have no clue what your talking about. So by all means keep commenting and give us all amusement to help pass the day by.

  7. jrazz22 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    seahonky
    Apr 29, 2013, 8:21 PM PDT
    I don’t care at all. I hate NBA basketball. The Kings would have a tough time playing in the WNBA. I just couldn’t see myself paying what? $50 for a ticket? And watch your team consistently lose by 20 point every game? No, not me. Sacramento can go ahead and buy this pathetic team for $550 million and then spend another $500 million for your arena and go broke in the process like the rest of California
    ——————————————————–
    Wow, you’re not bitter at all. You do care. It’s plastered all over your rant.

  8. seahawks54 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    as far as the kings are concerned i didnt want to take them from sac town but dont feel locked to keep them yet as a sonics fan there was a few times we were told that they wouldnt leave and they were taken not long after….but as an avid sports fan i have lost all respect for NBA..not that i cared much anymore anyway because even if u dont watch one game u hear enough to know the heat are going to be champs…its has no competition they have to have whiney players and stupid debates to get any intrest at all in a story…untill they get a salary cap i wouldnt watch a game anyway..

  9. rollteal - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Well said. When your from a city that’s a one show pony you simply have a different appreciation for that team. Like Sac and the Kings, SA and the Spurs, Jacksonville & the Jags, Orlando and the Magic, Columbus and the blue jackets.
    Anyways maybe soon the City of Seattle will get a expansion team to carry on the supersonics name and tradition.

  10. flexnfx - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    While Seattle had the arena plan, land purchased for the arena, endless money, signed agreement, & consistent ownership group; Sacramento had Stern. In the end, that was all that mattered. Stern wanted to play savior to Sacramento and stick it to Seattle one more time. However, by using Seattle as leverage, Sac is not getting their money’s worth.

    Sonicsconspiracy.blogspot.com

  11. melkipershero - Apr 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    The last thing the NBA needs is expansion. They need contraction. Theres 4-6 teams that would be better off gone.

  12. seahonky - May 1, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I still don’t care and I’m not bitter.

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