BY Art Thiel 10:10PM 04/12/2013

Thiel: Your daily dose of Cirque de Kings

New owners, false deadlines, more money for the purchase and more money for SoDo land. Your guide to the mayhem.

Seattle is the first city to participate in a circus before the big tent is put up. / 360 Architects

Another day of moving parts, people and deadlines, almost all reported by unidentified sources in the unprecedented¬† story of of the tug-of-war for the NBA Kings. Here is a condensed version of Friday’s condensation that is obscuring any view of a conclusion to this sordid saga between Seattle and Sacramento:

*’s David Aldridge reported that the Maloofs apparently were not serious with the 5 p.m. Friday deadline for the Sactown bidders to deliver¬† a clear, written proposal that matched the offer from Seattle investor Chris Hansen. The Maloofs are willing to wait through the weekend to be delivered a backup offer, should NBA owners vote against the Hansen pitch to relocate the Kings to Seattle.

By Monday, the Maloofs will really, really mean it.  Unless Tuesday would be better.

*Only this week did the Maloofs agree to entertain a Sacramento backup offer, and apparently only because Beverly Hills billionaire Ron Burkle, whom the Maloofs don’t like, was forced from the ownership group because of a conflict of interest.

For months, Burkle apparently was oblivious to the fact he couldn’t be a team owner as well as an athlete-management agency owner, a fact that every North Korean school child learns in Imperialism 101 class.

It was not known whether the Maloofs approve of the latest investor recruited to the Sacramento bid group Friday, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly. At least, they have not hit his like button as of Friday night, nor are they helping him with his Farmville project.

*Early Friday evening, the Sacramento Bee, citing an unnamed source, reported that Hansen is “thinking of” adding $25 million to his already unprecedented bid of $341 million for 65 percent of the Kings, a distressed property that he valued at $525 million in January.

By late Friday night on his website, Hansen confirmed that he has indeed increased his offer by $25 million, “as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our City and our high degree of confidence in our arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA.”

Told of the possible increase, NBA owners replied, “He what? For that crapcan franchise? Bwahahahaha! Whoooooeeeee!”

*On Thursday it was reported that if Hansen’s bid is rejected, the NBA is expecting the Maloof family to refund to Hansen the $30 million “nonrefundable” deposit he paid the Maloofs. To which the Maloofs responded, “Good luck with that! We put it all on red at the casino, it came up black, and it’s all gone! How do you think we got into this mess in the first place? Ha-ha!”

*Chris Daniels of KING5 reported not only that Hansen likely going to file for a master-use permit with the city as soon as Monday, a first step in pre-development for the arena, he has an option to buy a final parcel of land for the project for . . . $80 MILLION! The six acres he has already purchased were said to have cost him about $60 million.

Has to be the strip club on First Avenue South. The man is making it rain like no storm in Western Washington weather history.

That is all the absurdity for this evening.





  • Jimmy

    That’s all? He’ll it’s only 10:30 pm and you missed the bankruptcy stuff!

    • art thiel

      I know. So shoot me.

      • Jimmy

        With this madness, you have to just keep hitting refresh on Twitter! All. Night. Long. It’s insane! 6 more days! What could happen?

        • art thiel

          You know, I bet there’s more shoes to drop that we haven’t even considered.

  • Gary

    Holy crap Batman! We just went through a housing bubble straight into a NBA franchise bubble. How do you get to the point of lighting cigars with million dollar bills? Are they like the fed and just print more money? Will there be any money left over to actually run the team? Pretty quick something has got to pop, the whole thing is mind boggling, never seen anything like it in 55 years of following sports. I don’t go to many pro sports game anymore anyway as I just can’t relate to it anymore. I’ll stick to my memories, wish I could turn on the radio and hear Bob Blackburn or Dave Niehaus again, pick up a newspaper and see Jack Patera with his boot in his mouth……………..ahhh yeah.

    • art thiel

      Hang on for dear life, Gary. We’re only at the outer edge.

  • Joe

    We can’t lose the local treasure that is the strip club! Someone needs to stand up for the stripping arts. Maybe they can incorporate a new one into the stadium.

    • art thiel

      We don’t know that it will be lost. Wouldn’t surprise me if it becomes a locker room annex for the visiting team. Sonics 41-0 at home every year.

      • Eric K

        Didn’t Atlanta try that:-)

        • art thiel

          I think the players had to limo over to the Gold Club.

  • jafabian

    At some point the Maloof’s idiocy had to rear it’s ugly head in all this. I’ve never seen, in all my years as a sports fan couch potato, a team purchase as complex and with so many moving parts as this one. All this would make a great country music song.

    • art thiel

      Never been anything like this in any modern major pro sport. It’s like being there for the Tyson earbite of Holyfield.

  • Jamo57

    The final parcel has to be for the display of that SuperSonic mockup the Museum of Flight just purchased. And the Mariners have responded by saying they will bring back the ‘Good Ship Mariner’ and place it in left center field, and moving the bullpens to foul territory. Will the ringing the Ms bell at the end of an inning where the Ms score be far behind?

    As to the economics of this, I guess it’s good to see some of the ownerships’ off-shore money coming on shore and into SoDo!

  • 1coolguy

    As much as I’d like to see a team in Seattle, this isn’t the way to get one. Hansen is feeling a lot like the OKC group to me at this point.
    Chris needs to make a bid for a team that is truly not supported by the locals. The Maloofs have made a mess of this franchise and if there are legit buyers for Sacramento then they should buy the team and keep it there. Seattle had plenty of time to find a local buyer before Schultz sold us out to OKC, but no one ever did, which in itself was very, very surprising.

    • jerry

      uh, the Sonics never publicly offered for sale and he wanted the same money OKC was going to pay. Hansen has been above board. No pretending he’s doing anything but buying team. To compare him to the OKC group which lied and were sued for it, is ridiculous.

      In case you are not informed he can’t just buy any team. The team has to have either a year to year lease or no lease. The Kings have no lease. The other team close to that is the Bucks whose owner wont sell to anyone who will move the team.

      • art thiel

        Jerry is right, Schultz quietly had the club for sale to out-of-towners, who will always overpay. Clay Bennett proved that, as is Hansen. But I get coolguy’s point — the end result is taking a team from another market that has shown strong support. Some fans will never rest easily with that, and they don’t have to apologize. We’re all being used.

  • Anybody watch the documentary about the rules of basketball ? Two wealthy men fighting over a piece of basketball history cameras rolling. I would pay my monthly beer money to watch this Kings drama unfold.

    • art thiel

      Stay thirsty, my friend.