Kings reports multiply

McClatchy news servicesJanuary 15, 2013 

While Sacramento Kings fans ramp up grass roots efforts to keep their NBA team from leaving town, two online reports advanced the idea that the team’s sale and relocation to Seattle could be announced as soon as this week.

Yahoo.com, which broke the story of the Maloof family selling the Kings to a Chris Hansen-led group last week, reported the NBA has already discussed the outline of the sale with members of the relocation committee.

Also, NBA.com quoted an industry source as saying the Kings and their owners “have got a clean path to Seattle.” NBA.com is the league’s official website but its content is not controlled by the league.

Seattle mayor Mike McGinn told the Seattle PI.com on Monday it is clear “something’s going on” with the potential sale of the Kings, but he insisted his staff doesn’t know more than the public.

There was no official comment from Hansen’s group, the NBA, or the Kings.

The report on Yahoo, citing sources, shed light on details of the deal, which was described as “a non-binding set of deal points”for the sale to the Hansen-Steve Ballmer group.

The Maloofs would sell their 53 percent ownership stake in the team. The Kings are valued at $525 million. The Hansen-Ballmer group would also purchase 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich.

NBA.com reported Hansen might have wanted to delay making his pursuit of the team public until the Seattle Seahawks’ season was completed, suggesting an announcement could come this week.

Hansen’s group is hoping to wrap up the sale in time to meet the NBA’s March 1 deadline for applying for relocation for the 2013-14 season. If the sale goes through, the team would play for two seasons at KeyArena while a new $490 million arena is constructed in the Sodo District.

The NBA.com story also said NBA commissioner David Stern and the league want “certainty the arena will be built” before throwing its full weight behind Hansen’s purchase.

The relocation committee is comprised of several NBA owners, including committee chairman Clay Bennett, who bought the Seattle SuperSonics and moved them to Oklahoma City. The Yahoo story said the Kings would be renamed the Sonics once they were sold.

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