BY SPNW Staff 02:18PM 05/09/2013

NBA ‘encourages’ Sac bidders to pony up 100%

The NBA apparently wants Sacramento bidders to offer a deal that the Kings-owning Maloofs cannot refuse — virtually the same one made by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday that the usual unnamed source says the NBA is “encouraging” the group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive to put in escrow 100 percent of the price committed by Hansen/Ballmer to the Maloofs, which is said to be $341 million, based on 65 percent of the total valuation of $525 million.

Hansen has already put a $357 million offer in escrow, which was based on a $550 million. Apparently the NBA is not considering the additional $25 million Hansen added to his original valuation. The Bee has reported the Maloofs would accept the backup offer it was complete and binding.

The Sacramento group last week reportedly put down 50 percent of the price, but the Maloofs have said before that the offer was insufficient.  The full total in escrow would allow the “backup offer” to match, and eliminate another impediment to a deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Last week, the Ranadive group promised a kickback to the NBA of its portion of revenue sharing upon moving into the proposed $448 million downtown arena. That amount for the Kings this season was believed to be about $18 million. The point of the kickback was to eliminate Hansen’s argument that the Kings staying in Sacramento would be a taker in the NBA’s recently enhanced revenue sharing, but in bigger-market Seattle would be a payer.

NBA owners will meet in Dallas Wednesday in an extraordinary session to vote on a recommendation by the relocation committee that the Kings be kept in Sacramento. A separate finance committee has yet to vote on whether to accept the Maloofs purchase offer from  Hansen.

The NBA’s hope is to get Hansen before such a vote on sale to withdraw his offer and allow the Maloofs to sell to Ranadive.


  • Jim_Harbaugh

    This is becoming TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE by the NBA

    • Leon Russell

      You probably don’t even know what that means, let alone if it applies to this situation.
      All you amateur lawyers are amusing.

      • art thiel

        As you said, speculation is fun.

      • Mark

        Not all of us are amateurs. The NBA will be fine so long as they don’t have to vote on the sale. If they have to vote and turn it down, suddenly a lot of these actions become more meaningful, at least in terms of litigation. There is no interference until a binding contract is broken.

      • Jim_Harbaugh

        when a person such as (Stern/NBA) causes a party to commit a breach of contract, or where the person has disrupted the ability of a party to perform their obligations under a contract. It is also known as “tortious interference. Like the NBA telling the Maloof’s to take the Sac groups offer.

        check this link:

      • Jim_Harbaugh

        Don’t get all worked up!

  • Leon Russell

    “Last week, the Ranadive group promised a kickback to the NBA of its share of national TV revenues upon moving into the proposed $448 million downtown arena.”
    I don’t believe that is true, at all. The Ranadive group will get its equal share of national TV revenues, just like Hansen would if the Kings move to Seattle. What the Ranadive group is forgoing is any “revenue sharing.” That is not the same thing as their share of national tv revenue.

    • art thiel

      You are correct. The national revs to be shared are nearly all TV, but it is a different term. Fixed.

  • Leon Russell

    What it sounds like to me is that the NBA hopes the Maloofs will pull out of the Hansen deal, as you suggest. But, I wonder if the main reason for this is that if the Maloofs pull out, then they can’t keep Hansen’s $30 million deposit, so Hansen does not lose any money. The NBA probably doesn’t want to really rub Hansen’s nose in it, even though the NBA does not want to allow Hansen to buy the Kings.
    That would mean that the Maloofs would get less money than if they sold to Hansen, so I wonder what leverage the NBA has over the Maloofs to persuade them to take the Ranadive deal and let Hansen have his deposit back? Maybe the NBA is telling the Maloofs that they are going to disallow the relocation and the sale to Hansen, and that if that happens, then they are going to allow Ranadive to reduce his offer to the Maloofs for the team. So, if the Maloofs don’t take the Ranadive offer now, the offer will be reduced after the NBA votes on the relocation.
    Speculation is fun.

    • art thiel

      I believe an agreement is already in place that Hansen will get his deposit back.

      The Maloofs are trying to insist the backup deal be binding so that if they tell Hansen to forget it, they won’t lose leverage vs. Ranadive. So the NBA is pressuring Sactown to get it together. The owners don’t want the Maloofs screwed, because they are them.

    • jafabian

      I don’t believe the NBA has any leverage in this instance. They can’t force the Maloofs to take the Sacramento offer because that would be interference in the free market. And Sacramento’s offer isn’t anywhere near Hansen’s. The owners will not like and is doubtful they will support an outgoing owner being pressured into taking a lesser offer so IMO that’s why KJ and the NBA are pressuring the Maloof’s to accept the Sacramento offer and telling Hansen to back off.

  • Twigs

    Done with Stern and the NBA. Never would have lost the Sonics with decent political leadership. PS: if you still care about losing the Sonics, boycott Starbucks.

    • art thiel

      Five months after Bennett bought, the voters spoke 74-26 on I-91. What politician is going to go against that tide? At the state level the Legislature twice told UW, its own school, to drop dead regarding Husky stadium remodel. It wasn’t politicians. It was the will of most people.

      • notaboomer

        the people united can never be defeated!

    • Jared S.

      I tend to blame ownership and the league itself:

      Had the team been here until the lease ended and then left I would be more inclined to blame the politicians. Since they didn’t want to play out those final two years and see if a solution emerged, I’ll always feel they ran out on us.



  • Los Doyers

    Will we get the Sonics much like the Mariners were born after the AL ripped us off and were gonna face the music for doing so?

  • jafabian

    I don’t see how the NBA can legally involve themselves in this transaction. To me it almost smacks collusion. And if the NBA is truly insulted with I-91 then why did they let things get to where they are currently? Why not save everyone time, money and grief and tell Hansen and his people to get lost right at the get go?

    The Colts weren’t supposed to move from Baltimore and did anyways. I don’t see what’s to stop Hansen from doing the same.

  • Michael Kaiser

    This article says, “NBA owners will meet in Dallas Wednesday in an extraordinary session to vote on a recommendation by the relocation committee that the Kings be kept in Sacramento.”

    I must be missing something. Can not for the life of me conjure up what might be “extraordinary” about voting on a recommendation to keep a team in its hometown. What might have been extraordinary was if the committee was voting on a recommendation to move the team, and even further extraordinary if the vote was in the face of hometown support that wanted to buy the team and build a new arena.

  • Well yesterday the biggest news of the last several weeks happened and I’ve yet to see a mention of it in the NW. It’s not on this site (yet) and no mention by the ST either. For those of you that missed it Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat and head of the NBA Finance committee, got into a misguided private conversation with a Seattle fan on twitter. That fan then turned around a week later and allowed those private messages with Arison to be published (the fan’s twitter account has now been suspended). I encourage folks to look them up if SP or ST don’t publish them.

    In short, Arison explained to the fan that vote by the owners was all about Sac and what they had done, and nothing about Seattle. He even goes as far as stating if Seattle had done the same thing then the Sonics would never have left. None of that is new news but it does confirm what many outside of Seattle have been saying for months. The biggest news however was the mention by Arison that expansion will not be looked at until the next tv contract is negotiated. That finally puts somewhat of a timeline on what Hansen/Seattle can expect after the Kings ordeal is over in the next week or so.