If Chris Hansen is going to lose his battle to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, he’s going to go down fighting.
Despite an unfavorable 7-0 vote from the NBA’s relocation committee on Monday, Hansen wrote the following on his sonicsarena.com site:
“While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through.
“As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the U.S., have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow.
“As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governors meeting in mid-May.”
The odds don’t look good, but Sacramento still has some hoops to jump through, and Hansen still has a binding agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings. And the Board of Governors, comprised of league owners, could vote in Hansen’s favor.
Hansen said the odds aren’t impossible of turning the Kings into the Seattle SuperSonics. He wrote on his site:
“When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.”
All along, I’ve felt the NBA should keep the Kings in Sacramento and award Seattle an expansion team. There’s been no talk of expansion and it likely won’t happen until David Stern, the commissioner, steps down 2014 in Feb ruary of 2014. I’m still holding out hope that it will happen. If you have two wealthy ownership groups — and both are willing to build new arenas — it seems like it would be a win-win situation for every owner in the league. It will only drive up the value of existing franchises. Hansen and his ownership group, which includes Steve Ballmer, have ponied up a league-record $550,000 million to purchase the Kings’ franchise. Money, as they say, talks, doesn’t it?