Kings saga travels to meeting in Dallas
Hanson group hoping money talks in the end
SEATTLE – Inside the small club on Seattle’s Capitol Hill late Monday night, the chant would not be contained by the walls, drifting out onto the street with every urging scream from the performers on stage.
“Super,” the DJs would shout.
“Sonics,” was the emphatic reply from the crowd.
After months of waiting and politicking, recommendations and reversals, and a remarkable amount of money being thrown around, fans in Seattle will finally learn today whether they will cheer on the SuperSonics again or whether the Kings will remain in Sacramento.
“I think we’ve been in this game a long time. We’ve had setbacks and we’ve had gains and if it goes against us we’ll deal with it, but I am confident in our guys: Steve Ballmer, Chris Hansen,” said Brian Robinson, the former head of “Save Our Sonics,” the grassroots fan group that pushed to block the move of the Sonics to Oklahoma City. “They are willing to put the resources into making this happen.”
“May,” remains the important word as the NBA Board of Governors meets today in Dallas to tackle the issue of whether the Kings stay in Sacramento or are allowed to move to Seattle, where they would be rechristened the SuperSonics.
Investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have had a deal since January to buy a 65 percent controlling interest in the Kings from the Maloof family. Hansen originally offered a total valuation of $525 million, then increased that offer to $550 million after a competing Sacramento group matched his deal. He hoped to move the team to Seattle to replace the original Sonics, who were relocated and renamed the Thunder in 2008.
After months of staying quiet and letting the process play out, the Hansen and Ballmer group went on the offensive following the NBA relocation committee’s decision on April 29 to recommend denying the move.
The Hansen and Ballmer group elbowed its way back into the conversation using money and creativity.
All that brings the whirlwind back to today’s meeting in Dallas and likely the last chance to provide clarity. Anyone who says they definitively know what will come out of the meeting is likely just taking educated guesses. The roller coaster both cities have been on emotionally since January has come with stomach-knotting twists and turns that have provided little clarity about what the final answer will be.
Will Hansen and Ballmer be successful in throwing enough money into the pot that owners are swayed to give the Kings a one-way ticket to Seattle?
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