BY SPNW Staff 04:29PM 05/20/2013

Hansen says he will pursue arena, and a team

Chris Hansen interview video screen shot

Undaunted, Chris Hansen plans to carry on with his arena plan and pursuing another team. / KING5 photo

After nearly a week of silence following the rebuke by NBA owners of his offer to buy and relocate the Sacramento Kings, Chris Hansen said he plans to continue with the SoDo arena project and to “work with the League regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our City.”

Hansen’s statement on contained little new information other than making clear his intent to persevere despite a 22-8 vote to reject relocation in a meeting in Dallas Wednesday, and the subsequent sale of the Kings for $535 million to a group that emerged after Hansen initially offered $525 million in January to the Maloof family that owned the team.

The congratulatory, conciliatory remarks gave no indication that Hansen was interested in any legal challenge to the decision to reject his offer.

Hansen congratulated Mayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento fans and said there was “mutual respect” for what both sides went through and that the bidding was never about “Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans.”

He wrote, “This process was instead about our group and our city putting our best foot forward in an honest and transparent way to return basketball to Seattle, and in that regard our efforts remain undeterred.”

Hansen reiterated his original position when he began the project that it would take time and patience.

“The prospects for expansion (are) unclear, (and) the path for returning an NBA franchise to Seattle was likely to prove even more difficult and require even more patience,” he wrote. “Thus, even as we are disappointed with the developments related to our efforts to purchase the Kings, we would just like to reiterate our dedication to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”

After thanking his staff and the political and business communities that supported his effort, he threw out a request to fans:

“Keep the Green and Gold aliveā€¦ and just know that we remain as dedicated as ever to seeing Sonics Basketball return to the Emerald City.”


  • Leon Russell

    “The congratulatory, conciliatory remarks gave no indication that Hansen was interested in any legal challenge to the decision to reject his offer.”
    Hansen has no legal grounds for any challenge of the NBA’s decision. The league has the right to approve or disapprove the relocation of franchises. What is there to challenge?

    • He had a binding sales agreement with the Maloofs, and the NBA blocked it = possible anti-trust violation?

      • Leon Russell

        It wasn’t binding unless the NBA approved the move to Seattle. Once the NBA disapproved the relocation, the agreement was no longer in effect.

  • Leon Russell

    I didn’t see Hansen congratulate the Maloofs for giving Hansen a $30 million wedgie.
    Anything new about Hansen’s $30 million deposit and whether or not Hansen is making any effort to get it back? I would be surprised if the Maloofs offered to refund Hansen’s “non-refundable” deposit.

    • Tim

      According to the Seattle PI, the NBA has offered them a refund and Hansen and Ballmer have declined to take it. I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant insight only reserved for the super-smart people like yourself who seem to know everything:

      • Leon Russell

        Clearly, I’m a lot smarter than you.

        Hansen gave $30 million to the Maloofs, and up to this point, the Maloofs are going to keep it. So, Hansen is out $30 million with nothing to show for it. And the Maloofs have $30 million of Hansen’s money without giving or selling Hansen anything.

        How does that Seattle PI blog item change any of that?

        • Tim

          “The NBA owners offered to refund a $30 million non-refundable deposit
          made by the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer ownership group that was made
          when entering into a purchase agreement with the Sacramento Kings.

          The Seattle-based group had agreed to buy the team from the Maloof family.

          Hansen and Ballmer declined to accept the offer, which would have come from each of the NBA’s 30 owners.”$30M-Non-Refundable-Deposit-From-NBAs-Other-Owners

          So yeah, the Maloofs keep the change, but the “refund” would have come from each of the 30 owners.

          • Leon Russell

            And what does that have to do with Hansen losing $30 million to the Maloofs without getting anything in return? The other owners offered Hansen some charity, because they felt sorry for him being played so badly by the Maloofs, and Hansen declined because he didn’t want to look like more of a loser than he already does.
            As things stand today, Hansen got pantsed by the Maloofs.

  • jafabian

    Hansen remains a 7% minority owner of the Kings. So now he has a foot in the door of the NBA’s exclusive rich boy club. Since Clay Clay and Ranadive were both minority owners of different teams before heading up their current clubs Hansen is probably thinking all this is the required next step in the process towards getting an NBA club and most likely why he isn’t being a stickler about getting his deposit back or why he isn’t going the legal route like the city of Seattle did when the Pilots left. However his, Ballmer and the Nordstroms silence after the BOG’s decision speaks volumes: they by and large disagreed with the vote.

    It would probably also help if one of all of them have a meeting with new commissioner Adam Silver after he takes over for Sterno next February though I’ve been wondering just how Sterno can name his own replacement? Due process is for the BOG to name a committee, they prepare a list of candidates and then owners vote. For Sterno to name his own successor suggests an agenda. That Silver will continue what Sterno has established and that wouldn’t bode well for the Hansen group. I’d like to think that Silver would rather forge his own identity as commissioner else he simply becomes the NBA version of Fay Vincent and the owners kick him out. That would be funny if Mark Cuban became commish, though that honor might go to Jerry Reinsdorf.

    • Leon Russell

      Hansen does not own any part of the Kings. His bid to buy 7% of the Kings has not been approved by the NBA, and it is considered very likely that Hansen is going to drop his attempt to buy that 7%.

  • 1coolguy

    Chris – next time get the NBA’s PREAPPROVAL for a move: you had the cart before the horse and apparently felt the momentum you generated would carry the day.
    Stern and the NBA did the right thing, allowing the present city (Sac) to make a legit offer.
    So do yourself a favor next time and play by the monopoly’s (NBA’s) rules, not your own. I am certain you will succeed, as there are always teams to buy whose markets are not supporting them.

    • no fool

      BLA BLA BLA….Hey Everyone listen up….. JOCK SNIFFER COOLGUY knows it all ! ! ! !