It’s decision day in Dallas on Kings

Question is, will Chris Hansen’s mega-bucks offer be enough to move NBA’s 30 owners?

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comMay 15, 2013 

This, supposedly, will end in Dallas – a place perfectly suited for dramatic closure.

Wednesday, the gripping question will not be who shot J.R., but rather if Chris Hansen’s cash influx is enough to sway the 30 NBA owners.

The NBA’s full Board of Governors is scheduled to vote on the possible relocation and sale of the Sacramento Kings. Finally.

The board was expected to finish this monthslong tug of war in mid-April. Instead it postponed the vote until this previously unexpected meeting in Dallas.

Since the postponement, each side received a jolt. The seven-member NBA Relocation Committee unanimously, according to the league, recommended against relocating the Kings. To counter, Hansen raised his franchise valuation of the Kings from $550 million to $625 million.

An interesting exchange on Twitter between Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and a Seattle fan led to Arison saying essentially this: It’s not a question of whether the Seattle offer is sufficient. It’s a question of whether Sacramento has done enough to warrant retention of the team.

The answer, according to the relocation committee, is a resounding yes. That seems to make the increased

purchase price – plus a swollen $116 million relocation fee, almost four times as much as the $30 million fee Clay Bennett paid to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City – irrelevant.

In addition, Hansen has vowed the organization would pay into the NBA’s revenue sharing program. The Sacramento group had committed to forgoing any revenue sharing that would come its way. These are each bumps to the other owners’ pockets.

Should Hansen’s offer for the 65 percent of the team – the Maloofs’ controlling interest – not be approved, he reportedly has a backup plan. Several news outlets have reported that Hansen has a deal in place with the Maloofs to buy 20 percent of the team, with the Maloofs remaining as majority owners. This scenario makes the NBA cringe.

The persistent effort from Hansen and Steve Ballmer to remain in the fight has drawn detractors in Sacramento and nationally. It has also drawn cheers in Seattle.

Hansen and Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, have repeatedly upped their financial investment. Some view this as heavy-handed. Others see it as being fair in the effort to purchase a private entity.

There is still mild grumbling in Sacramento to be dealt with, too. Three Sacramento residents filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday alleging the city has broken the law on several fronts in its $448 million downtown arena deal.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson arrived in Dallas on Tuesday night and dismissed the lawsuit as “baseless.”

So, now Wednesday looms as yet another possible end to this saga.

“We’re holding our breath as a city,” Johnson said Tuesday.

He speaks for more than one anxious town in that case.

The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report. todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com @Todd_Dybas

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