BY SPNW Staff 02:24PM 04/25/2013

By May 13, “1 city will be disappointed”: Stern

On or about May 13, the fate of the bid battle over the Kings franchise will be decided, and either Sacramento or Seattle “is going to be disappointed,” NBA commissioner David Stern told the annual meeting Thursday of the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York.

While the declaration was not new, it was the repetition that made it clearer the NBA isn’t seriously considering expansion as a solution. The date was the most precise the NBA has been about an outcome when the Board of Governors (owners) vote.

The NBA also said a recommendation from the combined finance/relocation committees is expected to be completed Monday and forwarded to all 30 owners for their consideration.

The May 13 date will give owners two weeks to deliberate on the recommendation, which is more than the minimum seven business days required by league’s by-laws.

The Kings owners, the Maloof family, have agreed to sell their 65 percent share to Seattle native Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for an improved offer of $357 million, on a franchise valuation of $550 million.

Stern three months ago permitted a counter-offer from Sacramento, which is led by Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadive. The Maloofs complained by letter last week that the Ranadive offer was inadequate. Stern disagreed a week ago, saying that the two bids are “in the same ballpark with respect to the net result to the selling family.”

Wednesday in Sacramento, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), unveiled a long-awaited proposal to rewrite California’s environmental law. His plan would help speed up construction of a new Kings’ arena at Downtown Plaza (see drawings here).

In Seattle, Ballmer, who has been publicly silent since the announcement of the purchase agreement in January, spoke positively about his bid’s chances before a fundraising luncheon for the A PLUS Youth Program at Zion Preparatory Academy.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed, Chris Hansen’s worked really, really hard, and, I think, really intelligently,” he told KING5. “Seattle’s got a great bid, we’ve got a great arena plan, I think we have the better arena plan.

“We’ve got a good offer, it’s been accepted by current owners, we’ve got a great market, it seems like they’ll never be a better opportunity. But it’ll be up to the NBA owners.”



  • jafabian

    Amazing how Stern is doing so much to keep Sacramento in the loop but did no such for Seattle. At the very least this will give the Hansen group time to work the owners and get them to hear his side of things so come time of the vote it won’t be a unanimous vote at the very least.

    • art thiel

      The NBA knows Hansen’s pitch and plan. It’s whether the league can devise a split of the baby.

      • jafabian

        The fact that it’s at this point is all due to Stern. He could have made it quick and easy a la the Sonics to OKC. Makes me wonder if there isn’t some discontent amongst the owners already.

  • Maybe we should just form a new basketball league with franchises in cities the NBA has deserted; Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Kansas City, San Diego, St. Louis, Seattle, Vancouver, et al, and call it the ABA. It worked before!

    • art thiel

      I want the tri-colored ball and the reintroduction of Julius Erving and his hairstyle.

    • Jared S.

      Maybe Ballmer and Larry Ellison (who hasn’t been able to buy an NBA team so far) would be willing to foot the bill for a new league that would run the NBA into the ground. They could certainly afford it. The question is, would they be willing to work together, since they’re competitors in the tech industry?

      • NixBeeman

        Larry Ellison would rather slowly bore two dozen holes in his skull with a Makita drill than have anything to do with anyone with any connection to Microsoft.

        • JimC

          I wish we could like comments b/c that was funny.

          I think it’s over. Sac-town will pull it out in OT, with assistance from many blown calls.

        • art thiel

          Actually, Ellison would prefer to use a plumber’s bit on the drill. Much bigger holes.

          Ellison-Ballmer is India-Pakistan without the nuclear weapons. At least I think there’s no nukes.

  • Michael Kaiser

    Balmer looks like a predator in that picture. LOL.

    • art thiel

      What picture shows him warm and cuddly?

  • Michael Kaiser

    Oh, and if Seattle does actually get the Kings, I never will say Hooterville again. Or I will try hard. At least for a couple of days. But if they don’t . . . . .

  • rob

    Everything seems to favor seattle except for Stern…I guess will see what kind of power he still holds. Will the owners be willing to give up millions to please him?