Is NBA now soured on Seattle?

August 21, 2013 

The fallout from Chris Hansen’s bone-headed move to bankroll opposition to a new Sacramento, Calif., arena for that city’s NBA team remains to be seen.

But the Bay Area hedge-fund manager did neither himself nor Seattle area sports fans longing for a return of a National Basketball Association team any favors.

What was Hansen thinking when he surreptitiously donated $100,000 to the anti-arena forces in Sacramento? Oh, that’s an easy question to answer. He wasn’t.

Hansen comes across as a sore loser in his bid to buy the Sacramento Kings, and move them to Seattle. He threw around his muscle — in this case, his money — to try to influence an anti-arena petition drive in Sacramento, all the time proclaiming publicly that he would never be a “predator” of other cities’ teams.

He accomplished nothing, other than raise questions about whether he can be trusted to work in good faith with King County and Seattle officials on an arena project in Seattle.

He may have set back Seattle’s chances of scoring an NBA expansion team somewhere down the road.

His secretive financing of the petition drive in Sacramento plays into the hands of critics who don’t want to see a dime of public money spent on the Seattle arena.

Maybe he can survive this major lapse in judgment. Or maybe Seattle is even further behind in its quest for an NBA team than when Hansen arrived on the scene two years ago.

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