HoopsHype Chris Hansen rumors

April 11, 2014 Updates

Don’t worry, you won’t have to cheer for the Seattle Bucks. As I tweeted last weekend, the Seattle guys (Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen) aren’t getting the team — even though they were willing to go higher than anyone else, they dropped out because Herb Kohl (the longtime Bucks owner and a fearless champion of mediocre basketball) wouldn’t sell them the franchise unless they agreed to keep it in Milwaukee. The guys who thought they had it as recently as two days ago? Hedge-fund billionaires Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, who slid under the radar this entire time and thought they landed the Bucks with an offer in the $550 million range (slightly more than Vivek Ranadivé paid for the equally unappealing Kings). As recently as Wednesday, Lasry and Edens were expecting the NBA to vote on their bid at next week’s Board of Governors meeting. Grantland

So … what happened? Apparently there’s been a late flurry of offers from at least two other parties — not the Seattle guys — and now, incredibly, the price might be climbing and/or Kohl might be wavering to see if he should play this out longer. I thought I had this story nailed two days ago; now, I’m not sure. Will Lasry and Edens land the Bucks? Will someone else swoop in? What promises will be made to Adam Silver, who has demanded a new arena in Milwaukee by 2017 at the latest … or else? And can the Bucks and Kings really go for a combined $1.1 billion or more???? Good Lord! My money is still on Lasry and Edens, but I can’t believe this process is still dragging along. You know, kind of like the Bucks. Grantland

April 3, 2014 Updates

The investor who attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle says his investment group is solely focused on pursuing the NBA and is not interested in owning an NHL franchise. Chris Hansen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no one in his ownership group has interest in being the majority owner of a hockey franchise even as rumors continue to circulate about the NHL having interest in Seattle as a possible market in the future. Oregonian

(Are you by nature a patient person?) “Very patient.” (So then what’s your message to Sonics fans who may not be as patient as you are?) “Does anybody really think that Seattle is not going to have a NBA team at some point in the future? I think everybody can get really impatient when things don’t happen on their own agenda whether it’s something like this or accumulating wealth at a certain point in our life or accomplishing some professional goal of yours. It’s real easy to get impatient and ahead of yourself. It’s inevitable Seattle will have a basketball team. It’s just a question of when. Our job is to get the arena through the EIS process and done and evaluate opportunities as they come up. The next time an opportunity comes our way, we’re going to be in a lot better position. We’re not going to have to prove to the NBA that we’re likely to get an arena built. We’ll have a fully-baked, signed off on deal. There’s not a lot of other cities in this country that can say that. Seattle Times

Hansen: You may not talk about some of the difficulties that we’ve gone though in the last year, but the entire nation got to see how passionate Seattle sports fans are. The best marketing for the case of the NBA in Seattle, I had nothing to do with. And they come out for the NFL and soccer too. The entire world has had a chance to see what a great city this is and how much things have changed since the last time the Sonics were here. How vibrant our city is and how much it’s grown. I don’t want to talk badly about other cities, but I don’t think there’s anyone that is even close to what we have to offer. Seattle Times

(It doesn’t sound as if expansion is likely.) “I’m not saying that. I wouldn’t say that at all. I wouldn’t say expansion isn’t the way to go. I would think that post the NBA getting its television contract figured out, my personal point of view is that they may be more open to talking about expansion at that point. But I don’t think even the commissioner speaks on behalf of all of the owners. This is a collective decision that needs to be made on what’s best for all of them. I think they’ll be a lot more open to it once the majority of their teams that may be struggling from a financial viability standpoint have turned the corner, they have new TV deal in place and they keep seeing how persistent and passionate our fans our. I think they’ll be a lot more open to it.” Seattle Times

April 2, 2014 Updates

The investment group trying to bring men’s professional basketball back to Seattle is remaining focused on the NBA, even if landing a hockey franchise could happen sooner. “No one in our ownership group is interested in being a majority owner in an NHL franchise. That’s been the case since the start,” said Chris Hansen, who led the unsuccessful effort last year to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. “I’ve certainly queried our ownership group about this. I think if someone really wanted to it would be easier than bringing in an outside party. “But the most important thing is the passion is just not there for the NHL among our ownership group that is there for basketball. Getting involved in hockey solely because basketball hasn’t worked out right now, when it’s not something your heart is in, would be a disservice to the fans here.” The Reporter

Chris Hansen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no one in his ownership group has interest in being the majority owner of a hockey franchise even as rumors continue to circulate about the NHL having interest in Seattle as a possible market in the future. Hansen says the focus of his group is getting all environmental reviews finished on their proposed arena so that if an NBA franchise becomes available via sale or expansion, Seattle can be at the front of the line ready to go. Hansen says his investment group remains the same, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. ESPN.com

November 8, 2013 Updates

Supporters of the effort to build a new arena and bring the NBA back to Seattle say they are confident things will remain on track, even though mayor Mike McGinn lost his reelection bid. McGinn was a leading force in crafting the deal to build a new arena with investor Chris Hansen and had strong backing from official Sonics fan groups, who turned out in force to support the mayor throughout the campaign. "There have been a lot of people that have told me sports fans don't have influence and don't vote," says Brian Robinson, co-founder of Save our Sonics. "We proved that our values matter and people will step up to the table. The last component of it was showing that we can bring out campaign dollars and campaign volunteers and votes, and we did that convincingly in the primary. I'm really proud of the job we've done since." MyNorthwest.com

September 17, 2013 Updates
September 12, 2013 Updates

Chris Hansen’s secret contribution to a group opposed to a new arena in Sacramento will not hurt the billionaire’s efforts to deliver an NBA team to Seattle, said incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “I would say it won’t affect Seattle’s chances,” Silver said Sunday in Springfield, Mass., before the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony. “I haven’t talked to Chris since those allegations came out. I think as he said, he got caught up in the moment.” Seattle Times

Given the fact there aren’t any teams currently for sale, the bigger question is whether the 30-team NBA is going to expand anytime soon. “That’s up to commissioner Silver,” Stern said. And Silver replied: “I would never say it’s never going to happen. There’s nothing in the works at the moment. We were very clear when we were going through the issue with Steve Ballmer and Mr. Hansen that expansion was not in the cards right now.” Seattle Times

Silver said the NBA has more immediate concerns, namely negotiations on a television contract that expires in 2016. “Obviously the league has grown over the years and there may come a point to look at it,” Silver said, regarding expansion. “But right now coming off of our new collective bargaining agreement, we really want to make sure we have 30 franchises that are all financially sound and with great competition in their markets. “That’s where our focus is right now.” Seattle Times

September 11, 2013 Updates

San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and two political consultants have agreed to pay a $50,000 fine for failing to disclose a campaign contribution to a group seeking to block a new Sacramento sports arena. Hansen was accused of making an anonymous $100,000 donation in June to a signature-gathering effort to require a citywide vote on public subsidies for sports facilities. Under California campaign-disclosure laws, the contribution should have been reported by July 31. Seattle Times

September 9, 2013 Updates

Billionaire Chris Hansen must pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission $50,000 for his role in a secretive effort to funnel money to a group trying to thwart Sacramento's efforts to build a new downtown arena. Hansen gave $100,000 to a group gathering signatures to force a vote on the city's plan to help build a new home for the Sacramento Kings. It came just days after the NBA rejected his $625 million bid to buy the team and move it to Seattle. USA Today Sports

Once prospective NBA owner Chris Hansen and two of his associates will face a joint $50,000 penalty for their involvement in anti-Kings arena efforts. California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has reached an agreement on fines with Hansen and the top official and treasurer of his political committee Citizens for a Vote in Government. Fox40.com

September 3, 2013 Updates
August 29, 2013 Updates

A Sacramento group says investor Chris Hansen has not responded to its request to prevent signatures, secretly gathered to authorize a public vote on a publicly subsidized arena there, from being turned in. The group is now calling on Seattle city leaders to lean on Hansen, claiming that Seattle’s NBA future may be put at risk. After Hansen failed in his bid to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, it was revealed this month that he contributed at least $80,000 to pay signature gatherers who were trying to get the public subsidy for a new Sacramento arena on the ballot. The California Fair Political Practices Commission said the group behind the petition violated state law by refusing to disclose the donation. NWCN.com

August 24, 2013 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.