Houston, TX — Are the Sacramento Kings leaving town or not?
David Stern, the NBA Commissioner, said during All-Star Weekend that the move by the Sacramento Kings to Seattle is not necessarily a slam dunk.
The NBA Board of Governors is likely to make a decision on the location of the team on April 18.
A group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement to buy a 65 percent controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family for $340 million and move the team to Seattle where they would restore the SuperSonics name. The Hansen group and the Maloofs have already submitted a formal application to transfer ownership and team location.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player primarily with the Phoenix Suns, is trying to broker a competitive counteroffer to be submitted by on or about March 1. Oracle’s Larry Ellison may be part of the group that wants to keep the team in Sacramento.
When asked yesterday during a press conference where the Kings transaction stands, Commissioner Stern said the Seattle bid doesn’t make it a done deal and that the team could possibly wind up staying put according to ESPN:
“Oh, certainly it’s plausible to me [that Sacramento would keep the team] but I don’t have a vote. But I expect the owners to have a very open mind on this. And it isn’t plausible yet to talk about it until the predicates have been fulfilled.”
Sports illustrated reports that Stern also conceded that the ultimate outcome won’t please either municipality: “I don’t see any scenario in which both cities are happy here.” He added that he was “saddened” when the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City and he would like the NBA “go back there.”
When all is said and done, do you think the Sacramento Kings will relocate to Seattle?