Friday, January 11

Another day, another unconfirmed source says Sacramento Kings have been sold to Seattle group

Apparently the Maloofs invested all their money in plastic. AM I RIGHT?!

Here we go again.

According to the Sacramento Bee, it's official: the Kings have been sold to the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen.
A tweet from a Comcast Sports Bay Area NBA analyst this morning said the team had been sold for $525 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. A representative for Hansen in Seattle could not immediately be reached for comment.

Eric Rose, a Kings spokesman, said, "Nothing has changed with our position that we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the Sacramento Kings franchise."
And, as Sonics fans know, these kind of anonymous sources are never, ever wrong.

UPDATE: And now, of course, CBS Sports is reporting that the Kings might have a local buyer lined up. Gulp!


Anonymous said...

I'll add another anonymous source!

I know someone who is friends with Steve Ballmer, Ballmer's wife says its a done deal.

Seriously though, everything I said was true. Now the question is... is Ballmer's wife right...

Anonymous said...

we want the sonics back in seattle!!! regards from italy by a die hard sonic fan!!! shawn kemp!!!

JW said...

I heard a rumor some Sonic fans we're being hypocritical douchebags in the way they mocked Sacramento's efforts to keep their team away from the Emerald City. Can you guys confirm that rumor? Thanks.

(Not mocking your site/coverage - just noticed at the Times and other places how some people were making fun of the prospective local buyers of the Kings. You know, like Oklahoma City people made fun of last-minute desperate moves by Seattlites when we tried to save the Sonics.) Seriously, if getting a team means screwing Sacramento, then I'll be happy waiting for expansion, thankyouverymuch.

Anonymous said...

we want the sonics back in seattle!!! regards from italy by a die hard sonic fan!!! shawn kemp!!!

sacramento countertops

PN said...

I'm avoiding posting on this whole situation because it just makes me nauseous, but I thought I'd share this bit with everyone.

Adam Brown and Jason Reid, via ESPN:

Nothing would make Sonics fans happier than for the NBA to grant Seattle a new expansion team while finding an arena solution that would keep the Kings in Sacramento. Kings fans don’t deserve to lose their team, just as we Sonics fans didn’t deserve to lose ours. Unfortunately, we have absolutely no control over these things as fans. If the Kings leaving Sacramento becomes inevitable, we would rather have it be to Seattle as opposed to Anaheim, San Jose, Kansas City, or one of the many other cities vying for an NBA franchise.

Here's why this argument bugs the fire out of me - I think we all know full well that if Seattle were to wind up with the Kings, that they would be doing so by outbidding Sacramento for the team. In other words, were Seattle not to exist, the team would quite possibly remain in Sacramento. This is not some hypothetical nonsense, this is reality. As things stand right now, there are two entities pursuing the Sacramento Kings:

A) Chris Hansen, et al
B) Kevin Johnson, et al

Entity A has offered a proportional amount of $525 million for the Kings, an amount higher than can be reasonably expected by the Maloofs (consider, if you will, that the Grizzlies sold for <$400 million fewer than six months ago).

Entity B is attempting to pull together $~$450 million for the Kings, a more understandable figure.

In other words, Seattle is outbidding Sacramento for the Kings. Color it however you want, but to play the "hey, they were leaving anyways, so we might as well have them" card is, from my viewpoint, disingenuous at best and deceitful at worst.

Justin Townsend said...

I am in agreement with PN. I am married to a Sacramento girl and I very much want to see the Kings stay put.

However, I just wanted to point out one important factor in analyzing the competing bids. I believe the $450 million offer by Entity B is roughly equal to the $525 million offer by Entity A. The Maloofs reportedly owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 million to the city of Sacramento. If the Seattle group buys the team and relocates, that amount probably becomes due and payable immediately. If a Sacramento group buys the team, they probably just assume the loan, which increases their total acquisition cost by $75 million. Thus, any non-Sacramento buyer is probably going to have to pay a $75 million "premium" so the Maloofs can retire that debt.

PN said...

I'm not sure about that - I thought I had read somewhere that the $75 million was only applicable if the team left Sacramento, and that it would be forgiven if the team stayed. Regardless, I would imagine that the terms would be a lot more favorable if the team stayed than if it left. (In other words, KJ might look the other way).

Nathaniel said...

Let me clear a few things up from the Sacramento end for Seattle fans.

1) I think there is a strong chance the actual odds of Sacramento keeping the Kings (I am a Kings fan) are 50-50. 2 days ago I thought those odds were 70-30, but there seems to be a mood shift since Chris Lehane (former chief of staff for Kevin Johnson) announced there was a whale loosely affiliated and toying with the idea of buying a NBA team. (Some think it's Larry Ellison FWIW. I think that's possible, and don't find it surprising at all. But, it could be Ron Burkle or someone else. The truth is I just don't know who it is.)

2) This is the deal with the Sacramento loan. The terms of the loan stipulate that there is a penalty paid if the team is to leave Sacramento. That penalty is 77 million dollars which Hansen & Co. would have to pay.

3) The loan from Sacramento's end is not due all at once (although the NBA may force new ownership to pay it off immediately for reasons that are unclear--I doubt this in all honesty) and is about 67 million dollars in accordance with the way the loan was set up.

4) The loan was not taken out by the Maloofs, but the previous Majority owner Jim Thomas.

5) I have not seen anything that really suggests the loan will be forgiven (just not have to be paid off right away is what I've heard and seen Kevin Johnson say) if the Kings end up in Sac after all this.

6) I think that open letter is full of shit. Taking a NBA team from a quality market is just that: Seattle taking the Kings is no different than OKC taking the Sonics.

7) I think there is a strong chance, despite denials up to this point by the NBA, that expansion is coming if a RSN is being set up by Hansen & Co. If expansion is set to happen for the 2014-15 season (which would beat the Mariners by a single season in that respect), then Hansen, Ballmer and the Nordstroms have some time to set up shop, get the arena underway and so forth. With the land that has to be cleared in SODO right now, that arena is not going to be erected for at least 3 seasons anyway. There's no reason for the NBA to hold up Hansen/Ballmer and the city of Seattle by not announcing expansion for 2014 if they would do it in 2015. All that does is grind their gears to a halt in the 12th largest market.

I think the NBA is trying to figure out how to convince all of it's ownership internally that keeping both the Kings in Sacramento and an expansion team in 2014 makes viable sense because the size and interest of both markets involved.

PN said...

Thanks for the clarification, Nathaniel. I'd agree - the NBA has to be eager to bring Hansen & Co. into the fold. If that means expansion, it means expansion. The only advantage to having no NBA team in Seattle is the extortionability it gives to teams like Indiana, Milwaukee, Sacramento, and so forth. That will only work for a period of a year or two, though, before Hansen's group gets tired of charade.

Nathaniel said...

That's just it PN. I think the extortionability has already worked because of what the NBA did to Seattle.

Simply put, places they have trouble with are not fighting them as often as they once were.

Justin Townsend said...

Thanks for the explanation Nathaniel. I really hope the Kings situation works out in Sacramento's favor.

I have commented here a few times before, especially during the time when the team was leaving for OKC. I am from Oklahoma, but have always been a Sonics fan (my dad is from Seattle and was a Sonics fan). Then, in college I met my wife, who is from the Sacramento area and is a lifelong Kings fan. So, I'm all mixed up in this. But, I have never rooted for the Thunder and I have always rooted against bringing the Kings to Seattle. Expansion is the only way I'll truly be at ease with having a team back in Seattle.

I currently live in Las Vegas and the Maloofs are not so well-liked down here either.