Vote on Kings’ future faces likely delay

Clarity sought after Seattle, Sacramento groups make presentations to owners

The Associated PressApril 4, 2013 

NEW YORK — The future home of the Kings may not be settled this month after all.

With owners facing a difficult choice between a move to Seattle or the team staying put in Sacramento, NBA commissioner David Stern said Wednesday the expected vote in two weeks may be delayed.

“We’ve never had a situation like this,” Stern said.

“And the seriousness of purpose to me is really incredible, because (owners) know that there’s a lot at stake here for two communities and the NBA.”

A Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a pending agreement with the Maloof family to buy 65 percent of the team and move it back to the city the SuperSonics left in 2008. Sacramento has put together its own group to make a competing bid.

Both sides made presentations to a committee of owners on Wednesday — with George Maloof

making clear during Seattle’s that his family wanted to deal with them — that left enough questions that Stern says he doesn’t know when a decision will be made.

A vote was expected during the April 18-19 board of governors meeting. But Stern said questions remain about real estate and arena construction timelines, and owners may need more time to sort through them.

It couldn’t go much past that date, because a 2013-14 schedule has to be made and tickets have to be sold.

“I wouldn’t expect it if it does to slide by a lot, because there’s a combined interest in having some clarity come to this situation,” Stern said.

The Seattle group went first, touting the financial strength of its city and the passion of its fans. Sacramento followed, stressing the support it has shown for the Kings, even during their many losing seasons, and the city’s plans for a new arena that would revitalize its downtown.

Eight owners made up the committee Wednesday. Sacramento’s group, consisting of Silicon Valley software tycoon Vivek Ranadive, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, billionaire investor Ron Burkle and Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, seemed loose afterward, laughing and joking through a press conference.

Seattle’s were more guarded, with Hansen revealing little about what was said during the meeting.

“I believe Chris did a very thorough job of outlining the deal and what the ownership team was looking at it,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said.

Sacramento still must overcome the wishes of the Maloofs to deal with Seattle.

“They did express strong support for moving forward with the deal that they’ve made with Chris Hansen,” McGinn said, “and of course in the nature of the presentation it was important to Chris Hansen to point out the advantages to Seattle as a marketplace and as a destination for the NBA.”

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service