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League’s owners unanimously approve sale of Kings to Sacramento group

May 28, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT

Kevin Johnson, Vivek Ranadive AP

It’s official, Indian-born tech billionaire Vivek Ranadive and his Sacramento group own the Kings. Which means the team is staying put.

The League’s Board of Governor’s (made up of the 30 owners) unanimously approved the sale on Tuesday. This is the official confirmation of what was expected after the same board rejected a move of the Kings franchise to Seattle, essentially killing the sale of the team to the Chris Hansen group.

This is good on two levels.

One, the Maloof family is now out of the NBA, and that is a good thing. They were young energetic owners a decade ago, which was good for Sacramento and the league. But some bad investments left them cash poor, they handled getting a new arena in Sacramento about as poorly as you could, and by the end they were just an embarrassment.

Second, this is good for Sacramento. Mayor Kevin Johnson did what a lot of mayors could not — put together an ownership group and an arena deal in just a few months to keep the team. He played hard but he followed the road map laid out by the league and met goals that seemed impossible at the time.

It sucks for Seattle, which had a very good arena and ownership plan of their own. They feel used and it’s hard to blame them. Hopefully there will be another chance because there should be an NBA team in that city.

The Kings will now officially start the search for a new GM and coach.

  1. logisticalvoices - May 28, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Congratulation Sacramento! I’m sorry Seattle keeps losing out, they deserve better. I’m not normally for expansion but it may be the only answer here.

  2. glink123 - May 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Any word on how the new owner goes about selling his ownership in the Warriors as part of his requirement to buying the Kings? I’m curious how this works in the NBA. I’m assuming the Warriors majority-ownership group has, at a minimum, first opportunity to “buy out” the minority shares now being divested. I’m wondering how quickly someone can just cobble together a couple hundred million dollars in a few weeks times.

  3. caliscooter - May 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Having lived thru this nmisery before, when living in Chicago and the White Sox were threatening to leave for Florida… I am very happy that the right thing was done, and the Kings stay where they are meant to be. I too hope that Seattle gets a team as soon as possible, because the wounds created over this relocation drama have created a new dynamic which will play out on the court once the Sonics reclaim their place in the NBA. Gonna make for a great rivalry.

  4. gls24 - May 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Well, Kevin Johnson put together an ownership group . . . possibly at the expense of the financial future of our city. Let’s see if the arena deal, which was hastily arranged, becomes a reality in its present iteration. Question marks abound.

    • jaerba - May 28, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      I don’t understand why your post has so many downvotes.

      It’s an extremely risky deal for the citizens of Sacramento and this whole thing could very easily backfire on them.

      • nbascreed - May 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        It has down votes because voting down is much easier than taking a few hours to familiarize yourself with the economic racket also known as arena financing. Any tax paying citizen not in fandom-land realizes how much of a boondoggle these things are.

  5. 00maltliquor - May 28, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    The Kings should make a statue of Kevin Johnson and put it in the front of the arena for pulling off the seemingly impossible. I thought they were as good as gone.

  6. hurcumur - May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    To bad the first thing they did was kick a bunch of fans to the curb. All of us who could not afford season tickets but bought partial plans are not being offered those plans anymore. We thought the Maloofs sucked but at least they sold plans to people who weren’t part of the 1%. After 8 years of going to at least 15 games a year don’t plan on going to ant this year. Will drive to some Warrier games instead.

  7. bellerophon30 - May 28, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Who here thinks that Seattle is going become for the NBA what Los Angeles is now for the NFL: The permanent threat. Teams like Milwaukee, Charlotte, Atlanta, and others, will all be leveraging new deals for arenas based on that threat.

    All hail sports capitalism.

    • tomshoe - May 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Seattle might become the permanent pawn city for any owner that wants a shiny new arena.

      “Build me an arena, or I’m moving to Seattle!”

      If this keeps up, might as well expand.

      • mazblast - May 28, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. The only difference is that LA proved it didn’t want to support an NFL team, while Seattle fans (if not their civic “leaders”) were steadfast in their support. I feel bad for the Seattle fans and urge them to be supportive but not over-enthusiastic the next time a franchise is rumored to be coming their way.

      • manchestermiracle - May 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        The L.A. market supported the Rams for 50 years until Carroll Rosenbloom’s widow ran the team into the ground so she could move it to St. Louis. The L.A. market supported the Raiders until Al Davis used that market to extort Oakland and go back there.

        The only thing L.A. “proved” in regards to the NFL is that they wouldn’t be held hostage for millions of dollars just to get a team. The Memorial Coliseum doesn’t have the luxury boxes the NFL wants in order to rape corporations for big bucks.

        Politicians in L.A. know they can’t ask the taxpayers to fund a new stadium, so it requires private money to build one. Investors aren’t interested in putting up a billion dollars to not only build a stadium, but meet the NFL’s ridiculous cost for an expansion team and then hope they see a return in less than a decade.

        It’ll happen one day, but in the meantime the NFL looks pretty ridiculous by its absence from the nation’s 2nd largest market for going on 20 years.

    • nbascreed - May 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Yes. That’s exactly what it is. When the MN Vikings owner was holding our citizens ransom, all it took was an unsubstantiated rumor of his plane being spotted on the LA Runways to get the legislature in line. I thought “you fools” there’s NO way he’s moving to LA. Goodell wouldn’t allow it b/c then the next team would have to move to Minnesota.

      Goodell doesn’t want a team in LA. The money is in place already. He wants that card to perpetually force cities into building edifices to the NFL god every three years. I wonder who is next!

  8. fishfiletkray - May 28, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Time to put a statue of Kevin Johnson in downtown Sacramento.

  9. asimonetti88 - May 29, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    It will be interesting to see if the arena deal will be financially sound for Sacramento. For their sake, and ours in California, I certainly hope so.

  10. manchestermiracle - May 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    What a sham. I’ll be surprised if a new arena actually gets built in Sacramento. The Seattle offer was the better deal, so one has to wonder what the NBA’s end game really is, or if their idea of “management” is as bad as their playoff-game officials.

  11. jimsjam33 - May 29, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Kevin Johnson . You did it . Congratulations !

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