There was joy in Seattle on Monday, as fans of the Association may have seen their wish of having their own NBA franchise back in the city, by the beginning of next season, get tantalizingly close. Although, that move would bring great joy to fans who lost the Supersonics to Oklahoma City, as the team relocated and are now the reigning Western Conference Champions the Thunder, it would come at the cost of putting another city in the position that they now are in.
The “Sacramento Bee” reported Monday, that after years of trying to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the team’s majority owners; the Maloof brothers have reached a deal to sell their shares to an investment group led by Chris Hansen. Hansen and the rest of his consortium would be purchasing the squad with the express purpose of moving the team to Seattle, leaving Sacramento fans on the outside looking in.
The Association released a statement on the proposed transaction on Monday. It read “The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen. The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board’s committee process for review.”
The three brothers and their business partner Bob Hernreich, own about 65% of the franchise and they would receive $340 million from the potential buyers. The other 35% which is split four-ways is not expected to be sold, or pose a problem to the club relocating further north on the Pacific coast. In order for the Kings to remain in Sacramento at this point, would be if a local buyer could be found that is able to match the group from Seattle’s offer.
The battle to keep the team in Sacramento, appeared to be settled a couple of seasons ago, as the city and the Maloofs seemed to have a deal to build a new stadium in the city. However that agreement fell apart, putting the situation back into a state of flux.