HoopsHype Seattle SuperSonics rumors
The NBA Board of Governors voted Wednesday to keep the Kings in Sacramento and not allow them to move to Seattle, a person with knowledge of the vote told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the vote has not been made public. USA Today Sports
Sam Amick: The NBA Board of Governors has voted down the relocation bid to move the Kings to Seattle, @USATODAYsports has learned Twitter @sam_amick
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
But now that Seattle’s advances have been rebuffed by the NBA, sources say it’s Ballmer that has taken on a larger role in decision-making for the Seattle ownership group. The polar opposite of the soft-spoken hedge fund manager in Hansen – Ballmer is known for being loud and outrageous. Vanity Fair ran a seething piece (Microsoft’s Lost Decade) last August detailing a violent incident and more. NBCSports.com
Now that Ballmer has taken on a larger role with the Seattle group, league sources tell PBT that the same bravado he has employed with Microsoft is turning heads at the league office – and not in a good way. It’s no secret that Ballmer is a handful — but a well-connected and filthy rich handful that the NBA would love to have in its stable. At least that was the case. According to league sources speaking to PBT under condition of anonymity, the recent power plays made by Seattle and the Maloof family have “started to weigh on the NBA to the point where any Ballmer-led proposal now or in the future could fall on deaf ears if he doesn’t change course.” NBCSports.com
When asked to clarify, the source said that should the Seattle group continue to pursue a scorched earth policy with the Sacramento marketplace, they would jeopardize the city’s ability to secure an NBA team down the road should an opportunity present itself. When asked how Seattle got to that point, several sources with knowledge of the situation have told PBT that once they recognized the Sacramento bid was likely to meet league requirements, and ultimately secure the Kings, then decision-making for Seattle’s strategy and PR effort slowly shifted into Ballmer’s hands. That strategy has been at odds with the due process the NBA has been following, and recently it has been at odds with the NBA itself. NBCSports.com
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