HoopsHype Chris Hansen rumors

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May 20, 2013 Updates

Chris Hansen: I’d like to start out by congratulating Mayor Johnson and the fans in Sacramento for the tremendous effort they put together to keep their team. Given what our community went through in 2008, if there is any silver lining in this for Seattle it is seeing Sacramento’s dedicated fan base successfully rally to keep the Kings. This was never about Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans, and it goes unsaid that there is a mutual respect given the circumstances we have both been through. 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. SonicsArena.com

Chris Hansen: We will continue to press forward with our Arena plans with the same commitment and effort we have over the last two years, and look forward to working with the City and County to see the project through the hurdles that remain. Likewise, we plan to continue to work with the League regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our City. SonicsArena.com

May 17, 2013 Updates
May 16, 2013 Updates
May 15, 2013 Updates

A full meeting of the league's 30 teams met here Wednesday for nearly four hours and, according to sources with knowledge of the vote, ultimately backed last month's recommendation from a relocation committee that advocated to reject the Kings' proposed sale to a Seattle group headlined by lead investor Chris Hansen and keep the team in Sacramento. Hansen's group raised the overall valuation of its offer to buy the Kings for a league-record $625 million last week. But sources told ESPN.com that the owners gathered at this specially convened board of governors meeting at the Hilton Anatole voted to reject the sale and proposed relocation of the Kings to Seattle. ESPN.com

May 14, 2013 Updates

George Maloof, one of the members of the family that owns the Sacramento Kings, said again today their desire is to sell the team to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Maloof is in Dallas in advance of the NBA Board of Governors meetings tomorrow, and in a brief interview as he walked through the lobby, reiterated the family’s long stance about selling the team to the Seattle group. “We have a binding agreement,” he said. “That’s our commitment, to Chris and Steve. We want to see it through.” Seattle Times

May 13, 2013 Updates

A memo obtained by NBA.com details a potential framework for legal action, citing the Sherman Act's prohibition against group boycotts. In this instance, the (unauthored) memo argues, the league would be vulnerable to a lawsuit by the Hansen group based on the Haywood case won by Spencer Haywood against the league in 1971. That case allowed Haywood to sign a contract to play in the NBA despite not having graduated from college, the existing rule at the time for eligibility. Haywood successfully argued that financial hardship necessitated him coming into the league immediately. NBA.com

The memo's author argues that Hansen could successfully sue the NBA because if owners vote to reject the sale of the team to him, they would be engaging in a similar group boycott that the Supreme Court ruled was illegal in the Haywood case. But all that may, literally, be an academic exercise. A source directly involved with Hansen's pursuit of the team reiterated Friday that Hansen is not looking at potential litigation as a means for getting the Kings. "It's not part of anything that our group is contemplating," the source said. NBA.com

A source familiar with the agreement, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of this week's NBA talks, said Hansen would strengthen the team's balance sheet as it enters into arena talks with the city of Sacramento. Even though Hansen has said his dream is to revive the Seattle SuperSonics, the Maloof-Hansen group would nonetheless make a good-faith effort to jointly finance an arena in Sacramento, the source insisted. Should a Sacramento arena deal fall through, sources said, the team likely would seek NBA approval a second time to move to Seattle. The deal would allow Hansen to purchase a controlling interest in the team – at a price that valued the entire team at $625 million – within the next two years, subject to NBA approval. Those details were laid out in a memo Friday from NBA executives to team owners, a source said. Sacramento Bee

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