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Owners vote to officially reject relocation of Kings to Seattle

May 15, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

Kings Sale Basketball AP

This was the expected outcome after a committee of owners unanimously recommended to kill the move — and while Seattle upped their bid to try and buy the team, it was not enough.

The NBA owners voted Wednesday to reject an application to move the Kings to Seattle, something announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern. He said the vote was 22-8 against relocation (Seattle needed a majority). The news was first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today .

“We will talk to the Mallofs (the family that owns the Kings) and seek in the next 24 to 48 hours whether we can help facilitate an agreement to be signed between the Ranadive group (the Sacramento counter bid) and the Maloofs for the sale of the franchise in Sacramento,” Stern said. “Let me say the Seattle presentation was brisk, firm, excellent and reflects the effort s that were put into this and the extraordinary ownership group they have put together….

“(It was recommended to the owners) if the Sacramento could produce a site, a construction team, a financially strong ownership group, and the kind of support by the city and the region that Major (Kevin) Johnson has galvanized, the appropriate outcome was to keep the team in Sacramento. And that’s what they did.”

The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, had an agreement with a group out of Seattle led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (who was not at the Board of Governors meeting in Dallas) and while technically this doesn’t block that sale it does in practice — Hansen’s group does not want to own a team in Sacramento.

The Maloofs had worked to avoid selling the team to this Sacramento group, but Stern said he “anticipates they will come to be open” to selling to the group now. Basically because they are out of options.

While the Seattle group had proposed a “backup plan” of buying a minority portion of the team, that is not going to fly with the other owners. However, the only vote was on the relocation, not the sale of the team.

Stern said he wanted to keep an open dialogue with the Seattle group, but they do not have “anything concrete to report” about a team moving there.

When asked about the idea of expansion, Stern said the owners thought that was a topic to discuss after the next national television package is signed. The League wants to get that new deal done this summer.

The Maloofs do not have to sell the team, but they are essentially considered too cash poor to run the franchise. They are going to sell. And the only good option on the table will be the alternative group brought forward by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and led by Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadive. That group put an offer out matching the original Seattle offer (a $525 franchise valuation), and that group also is working on plans for a new arena in downtown Sacramento.

There is a lot of frustration in Seattle — they felt screwed over by the league five years ago and this decision felt like that wound was opened again. While down the road it may be possible to bring the political and economic forces together again to buy a team and get an arena built, it would be a hard sell right now.

“This was not an anti-Seattle vote, this was a pro-Sacramento vote,” Stern said.

  1. patfic15 - May 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    But they’re in Sacramento!!

  2. 4thquartermagic - May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    My reading comprehension can’t be this bad.

    Blog Post: “Report: Owners vote to officially reject relocation of kings to Sacramento.”

    Me: Oh so owners are against the team being relocated to Sacramento. Hmm. aren’t the Kings already in Sacramento?”

    Blog Post: This was the expected outcome after a committee of owners unanimously recommended the move even after the steps the last week of the Seattle group to up their bid.

    Me: Wait what? So the owners unanimously recommended the move? So the Seattle groups bid helped?”

  3. rohlo - May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    love seeing the maloofs get the shaft!!! complete idiots and douches… go rockets!!!

  4. asimonetti88 - May 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    It’s going to be amusing when the house of cards built by Kevin Johnson collapses and the NBA and the Kings are in this same position a year from now.

    I almost feel bad that Adam Silver will have to deal with the mess Stern has built here. Almost.

    • shaolin916 - May 15, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      Its ok just wipe your tears away, play some nirvana and buy a latte from starbucks. SACRAMENTO > seattle

      • fissilemissile - May 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        In douche remarks? Yes.
        In the NFL? No.
        In the MLB? No.
        In the MLS? No.

      • asimonetti88 - May 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        I’m a Lakers fan from LA, but ok.

      • Tick - May 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        Dude….I’m from the Cali central valley and on no world, no reality, no alternate dimension is Sactown > Seattle. I understand being a homer, but that’s just being asinine.

      • shaolin916 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Sacramento> central valley….central valley is just awful, some of the highest rates of depression in the state for a reason. Central valley is NOT sacramento! Haha

    • logisticalvoices - May 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      May 15, 2013, 6:33 PM EDT
      It’s going to be amusing when the house of cards built by Kevin Johnson collapses and the NBA and the Kings are in this same position a year from now.

      I almost feel bad that Adam Silver will have to deal with the mess Stern has built here. Almost.
      House of cards? Have you actually followed this story? The Maloofs already made an agreement in principle with Sacramento and made a large public announcement. Then they backed out. Seattle tried to swoop in and Sacramento upped the ante. Even though Seattle had the sweeter deal, Sacramento’s deals have been legit. Stick to breathlessly following Dwight Howard’s every move the next three months. You’re the typical Lake Show fan; you don’t know that the NBA even exists outside of Staples.

      • asimonetti88 - May 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        The current stadium deal is separate from the previous deal the Maloofs made.

        I refer to the house of cards that is the proposed Sacramento ownership group. Sacramento’s investment group recently hired an outside agency to raise more needed money to purchase the team. Meanwhile, they relinquished over $50 million a year in revenue sharing. This raises the question of exactly how long they will be able to remain financially viable.

        So yes, I do pay attention to the NBA outside of Staples. Maybe you should try to construct arguments on something other than preconceived notions built off tired stereotypes.

      • logisticalvoices - May 16, 2013 at 12:02 AM

        Getting additional income to match Seattle’s offer doesn’t make it a “house of cards”, implying that the whole deal will fall apart at any time because it’s ill-conceived.

        Nice try though. There is one thing that Lakers and Sacramento have in common: a 2014 lottery pick.

      • asimonetti88 - May 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        They are not getting additional income to match the Seattle group’s offer, they are fundraising necessary capital to meet their own commitment.

  5. jrazz22 - May 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    May 15, 2013, 3:33 PM PDT
    It’s going to be amusing when the house of cards built by Kevin Johnson collapses and the NBA and the Kings are in this same position a year from now.

    I almost feel bad that Adam Silver will have to deal with the mess Stern has built here. Almost.
    You sound like a bitter Seattle fan. If you are, boo hoo.

    • asimonetti88 - May 15, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      No, I’m a Lakers fan from LA.

  6. supremekingz - May 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Article title FAIL

  7. fissilemissile - May 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Honestly, I think this might be a good thing. Let’s focus on getting the Arena built and get an NHL team here so we can show Stern how much revenue he just passed up.

  8. joenash72 - May 15, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    So the Maloofs are going to take $65 million less than what was offered them?

    Anti-trust lawsuit likely being filed as I’m typing this…..

    Are they supposed to just walk away from $65 million dollars?

    • kibblesnvick - May 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      The NBA has NOT told the Maloofs that they cannot sell to the Hansen-Ballmer group. The NBA BOG voted to deny the relocation of the team to Seattle. Sure, that basically ends any chance of a sale by the Maloofs to the Hansen-Ballmer group considering the Hansen-Ballmer group’s clear-as-day intentions were to move the team to Seattle, but they can still purchase the team (as of right now) if they so choose to. However, that sale most likely would be denied by the NBA as, like I stated above, the Hansen-Ballmer group clearly wants to move the team to Seattle and the NBA has made it clear they want the team to remain in Sacramento, and for two fairly large and obvious reasons:

      1. To let billionaires poach a team and move it out of a city with the amount of support Sacramento has given the team, and the NBA, over the last 29 seasons sets a bad precedent.
      2. The city of Sacramento has pledged $250 million in subsidies to the construction of a new entertainment and sports complex. The NBA has no desire to turn that down as it gives owners of other teams leverage the next time one of them wants a new building.

      A couple of other things to note here:

      The Maloofs have neither the money, resources or time (several years of litigation) to sue the league. For one, that would mean they would still own the team, which means almost zero fan support in Sacramento and greatly reduced ticket revenue. Should this happen the NBA could strip the Maloofs of ownership as they would viewed as basically running the team into the ground and the NBA has the absolute right to protect what’s best for the league.

      Finally, the $341 million that the Ranadive group is offering for 65% of the team (which was the original offer made by the Hansen-Ballmer group) is already a record deal for ANY NBA franchise to date. You mean to tell me the Maloofs would rather sit on dwindling ticket sales and mounting legal costs than take this money tomorrow and run?

      • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        It should be pretty obvious that Stern’s decision has eliminated any possibility that the Seattle group will be permitted to purchase any part of the Kings for any reason.

  9. followme2boston - May 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    So it is okay to move the team from Seattle to OKC, but not from Sacramento to Seattle? That is pretty harsh to the folks up in Seattle.

    • a245008 - May 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      ^Seattle should have an NBA Team, but this comparison is inaccurate. The city of Sacramento is contributing over 200 million dollars in funds for a new downtown arena, and have now had TWO different arena deals approved by the city. Seattle lost its Team because politicians allowed it to happen. Had Balmer been around years ago with city support the Sonics would still be in Seattle. The NBA has made it VERY clear, keep a high end arena in you city and you’ll keep your Team, don’t, and you’ll loose it.

  10. paulpearson2k - May 15, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Watching the press conference it was obvious Stern wants to defer the whole issue of the NBA in Seattle to Adam Silver.

  11. bauman007 - May 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Wait Sacramento has a basketball team?

  12. seabronco - May 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Wait Sacramento is a city?

    • bstroum - May 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Sacramento is a town.

      • evset213 - May 16, 2013 at 2:00 AM

        bstroum, please stop posting your mis-informed BS. The Sacramento metro area has over 2.5 million people.

      • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        It’s still a cow town.

  13. jrazz22 - May 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    May 15, 2013, 5:12 PM PDT
    Wait Sacramento is a city?

    Mr. Seabronco, what you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  14. bigwampum - May 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM


  15. hatesycophants - May 15, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    This is very poorly written even for you. How can you have a gig writing when the one thing you’re absolutely not good at is writing. None of my business.

    Also, there is zero opportunity for an “antitrust law suit” here. Thanks anyway, Internet Attorney!

  16. Robert - May 16, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    It’s simple for Seattle , make a move for the Grizzlies. Memphis does not support this team and it’s losing money. If the Seattle slot was open years ago, Vancouver would have moved to Seattle.

    Get the Grizzlies to Seattle. This is a better deal. The Grizzlies are a playoff team, the Kings are not.

    • jiminauburn - May 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      The NBA will just use Seattle to pressure Memphis to build a new arena for the team. Don’t want to be the stick that the NBA uses to extort new arenas from communities.

  17. shackdelrio - May 16, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Seattle will get their team when the Bucks leave Milwaukee in a few years.

  18. manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Silly me, I always thought “unanimous” meant everyone. 22-8 is hardly everyone, yet the vote is described as being “unanimous.” Obviously it doesn’t mean what I think it means.

  19. cabby782 - May 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Can you say Seattle Bucks?

  20. seahonky - May 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    The Maloofs owe $75 million to the NBA. Stern will drop that as long as the Maloofs sell to the Sacramento group for $341 million. So, the Maloofs will make $341 million plus they won’t have to pay the NBA $75 million that they owe. Now that the Sacramento group will own the team, they won’t build a new arena. No reason to now

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