Monday, January 21, 2013

Kings Sold!

Kevin reported a couple weeks ago of the breaking story that the Sacramento Kings were being sold. It has now become official. The current owners of the Sacramento Kings, the Maloof family, will sell the 53 percent ownership of the team. Minority owner, Bob Hernreich, will also be selling his 12 percent stake in the team. Hedge fund manager, Chris Hansen, and Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, will be heading the Seattle based group in the purchase of the team.

The Seattle based group plans to move the franchise to Seattle. In order to do so for the 2013-2014 NBA season, the new ownership must apply for relocation by the March 1st deadline set by the NBA. If this timeline is followed, the board of govenors for the NBA will be able to vote on the relocation at the annual April meetings. Seattle is not new to relocation in the NBA. The city of Seattle had an NBA franchise taken away from them when the Clay Bennett moved the Sonics to Oklahoma City. In this move Bennett left the logo and name of the team in Seattle. Many loyal Seattle basketball fans were devastated to lose the team they grew to love.

Unfortunately that devastation is about to hit Sacramento. Former NBA point guard and mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, is not going to let the team go without a fight. Johnson got permission from NBA commissioner, David Stern, to purpose a counteroffer to the league owners. This counteroffer would allow the Kings to be bought by a group that would keep the team in Sacramento. Johnson gives legitimate reasons to why the franchise should stay in Seattle. He said, "Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a top-20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history."

The valuation of the team is more than some may have expected at $525 million dollars. This figure does include relocation fees. As many know, stadiums are a large part of NBA deals. Seattle approved in October plans to build a $500 million stadium. NBA superstar, Lebron James, had plenty to say on twitter regarding the valuation of the Kings. He first commented on the valuation saying, "So the Kings getting sold for 525M!! And the owners ain't making no money huh? What the hell we have a (lockout) for. Get the hell out of here." Later he tweeted about Mayor Kevin Johnson's effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento by saying, "I do know Mayor Johnson and the city/fans of Sacramento will do whatever it takes to keep the team put. We'll see what happens #NBAfiles."

Final Thought
This move is good news for the NBA. This move is terrible news for Sacramento. This move is conflicting for Seattle. The NBA is pleased to hear that a franchise like Sacramento is worth a great amount of money. It goes to show how strong the league is. The city of Sacramento will obviously be devastated. Losing a team that you have rooted for must be extremely difficult for the fans of the city. Seattle is finally getting a team back, and they deserve it. They do understand the feeling of losing a team and must feel some sympathy for the city of Sacramento.


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