BY SPNW Staff 04:43PM 05/14/2013

Seattle Or Sacramento: Who Will Own The Kings?

Unless there is another delay, the NBA Board of Governors will take a final vote on the Kings sale Wednesday in Dallas. According to multiple reports, the NBA has not changed its position on keeping the Kings in Sacramento despite Chris Hansen’s recent spate of pot sweeteners, leaving one major question remaining:

Who will own the Kings?

The Seattle group led by Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the Nordstroms, which has bid a record valuation of $625 million (up from the original $525 million) could own the team.

Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadive’s group, which has bid $100 million less, could take over ownership from the Maloofs.

Or, the Maloofs could retain ownership of the franchise by selling 20 percent of it to Hansen, et al (introduced Saturday).

If the Maloofs would only sell to Ranadive’s group, the battle for the Kings would be a done deal and make David Stern a happy almost ex-commissioner. The Kings would remain in Sacramento and Seattle would have to wait either for another flailing franchise to become available, or expansion. If Stern is as good as his word, and he isn’t, expansion is out of the question.

If the Maloofs keep the Kings and sell 20 percent to Hansen, the deal would have to be approved by 75 percent of the league’s owners. It’s uncertain the Maloofs can get to 75 percent, considering that Hansen’s long-term goal is to get a team to Seattle. Hansen as a minority owner in Sacramento probably strikes NBA owners as the equivalent of having a squatter on the premises.

But if the owners don’t give the Maloofs 75 percent approval, they still cannot force him to sell to Ranadive.

It’s always possible, if unlikely, that Hansen has influenced enough owners to vote his way by communicating directly with them Wednesday, after doing an end-run around the league office over the past two weeks.

It’s also possible that Hansen is confident enough that Sacramento’s arena plan won’t fly and that he would buy a 20 percent stake in the franchise, subject to NBA approval, and simply wait for the arena plan to collapse, which would be Stern’s greatest nightmare.

However it goes, it should down today. Art of Sportpress Northwest has written extensively about this issue. Check out his archive here, after which you are invited to answer our question:



  • notaboomer

    almost every team owns the kings. they suck.

  • Tom G.

    I actually think it’s none of the above.

    Seattle is voted down on 65%, 20% and 7% and then to break the impasse between Vivek and the Maloofs, Seattle is given a guarantee for expansion in 2 years (with finer details to be ironed out later).

  • jafabian

    I’m predicting the NBA buys the Kings like they did with the Hornets. Or should I say that Sterno has the NBA buy the Kings. So that way when Seattle gets a team it isn’t on him and he can say how he was in control of the Seattle situation the whole time and taught Seattle a lesson. That will allow Sacramento to get even more of their proposal on more solid footing ot to decide just how much they want to invest in an NBA franchise. If they don’t play ball then the Kings move to Seattle.

    The question right now is how serious is the suit alleging misuse of public funds by the SacTown’s mayors office in the arena deal? If there’s any sort of merit to it the NBA will want to distance themselves from it big time. And with a called Taxpayers For Safer Neighborhoods collecting signatures to block the SacTown arena construction does it make sense to invest in Sacramento when Hansen has Seattle all ready to go?