Report: Owners Unchanged on Kings’ Future
A committee of NBA owners who have been studying the future of the Sacramento Kings met Monday but did not change their position to recommend the team be kept in Sacramento and not moved to Seattle, a source told ESPN.com.
A final full vote on the matter is expected at owners’ meetings Wednesday in Dallas. It remains unclear, however, who will own the Kings after Wednesday’s meetings.
A group led by Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadive, who has worked closely with NBA commissioner David Stern to keep the Kings in Sacramento and build a new arena for the team, is hoping to gain control of the team. The Maloof family, the Kings current owners, have told the league they don’t plan to sell to Ranadive if the move is blocked.
To sort though all this, the owners’ relocation and finance committees held a teleconference in the wake of several developments in the last week from the group that is trying to buy the Kings and relocate them to Seattle. Two weeks ago the relocation committee voted unanimously to block the move. It has been expected the rest of the owners would follow that recommendation.
Last week in a bid to change the owners minds, Seattle group lead investor Chris Hansen increased his offer for 65 percent of the Kings to a record $409 million from $358 million. He also offered a relocation fee payout of $4 million per team for a total of about $116 million to attempt to sweet the pot and sway owners who may be sitting on the fence.