HoopsHype Steve Ballmer rumors

January 14, 2013 Updates

There is no indication around the league that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has started to rally support among the NBA power brokers who could become his last line of defense to keep the Kings in Northern California, a backing that would be critical as part of a potential showdown vote. He has obviously been in contact with the league office, including commissioner David Stern. But sources confirm Johnson has yet to reach out to many, if any, members of the Board of Governors who would decide whether to approve a sale if a deal is closed with the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group that would move the team to Seattle. If the Maloof family does sell to Hansen-Ballmer, as is a possibility, Johnson will be down to his final hope: The Board of Governors, one representative from each team, either an owner or high-ranking executive as proxy, refusing to approve. Such an outcome would be very rare, and maybe even unprecedented, for the reasons Johnson would be pressing. The former All-Star point guard would be telling the BOGs to vote for Sacramento by voting against Seattle. He would, in essence, be urging owners to deny the bid of a group that by every indication has the financial resources and wants to CPR new life into a floundering franchise by moving it to a city with major corporate backing and a tradition of supporting sports. That would require Johnson to build a coalition of very sympathetic and strong members of the Board of Governors. NBA.com

January 12, 2013 Updates

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn't won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open. "(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I'm going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized)," Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1. USA Today Sports

January 11, 2013 Updates

Mastrov met with the Maloofs recently, and two league sources speaking on condition of anonymity said he has made a formal offer. Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has long been interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento, and is well known to NBA owners who would approve any sale. But having made it to the final round of the process with the Warriors sale, Mastrov is familiar with the NBA process and league executives are familiar with him. A Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is deep in negotiations to buy the team for upwards of $500 million and move it to Seattle. Those discussions are ongoing, and league sources indicate a formal deal has not been struck. One person briefed on the negotiations said the Maloofs' intentions remained difficult to read, except in one area: "They are pushing for a bidding war." CBSSports.com

January 10, 2013 Updates
June 13, 2012 Updates

The push to build a new arena in Seattle with the hopes of seeing the NBA return now has another name to go along with that of hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press. That Ballmer is part of the investment group is not a surprise. Ballmer is a longtime basketball fan who regularly sat courtside at SuperSonics games before their departure to Oklahoma City in 2008 and was part of a group that made a last-ditch effort to try to keep the team in Seattle. cbc.ca

Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press. Oregonian

November 9, 2010 Updates

Steve Ballmer’s decision to diversify his portfolio by selling $1.34 billion of his holdings in the software company has generated another round of speculation of him buying and moving an NBA team to Seattle, including possibly the Sacramento Kings. Seattle-area blogs and news media continue to report Ballmer’s buy-and-move dream of an NBA team, including the Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers. It’s a far-fetched plan, one that has garnered little attention outside of Seattle, which lost the SuperSonics in 2008. Joe Maloof, a co-owner of Maloof Sports & Entertainment and the Kings, said Monday he has “never met Mr. Ballmer, we’ve had no contact with him and the team is not for sale.” Business News

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