Stern says Sacramento bid to keep Kings 'not quite there'


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Would you knock it off Sacramento? You don't get to keep your team. Seattle is taking it.

You see, I need a hockey team. Before we can have a hockey team, we need an arena. In order to get a new arena, we need a basketball we are taking yours. Too bad, so sad.

Stern says Sacramento bid to keep Kings 'not quite there'

Commissioner David Stern said Sacramento's bid to keep the Kings would have to increase to be in competition with the Seattle offer.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- NBA Commissioner David Stern said Friday night that the counteroffer to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle needs to be increased financially before the league's owners would even consider the bid.

Speaking to reporters before the Golden State Warriors hosted the Houston Rockets, Stern said the Sacramento group's offer has some "very strong financial people behind it but it is not quite there in terms of a comparison to the Seattle bid." He added that "unless it increases, it doesn't get to the state of consideration."

The league has scheduled a meeting April 3 in New York to avoid rushing debate on the issue. Representatives from Sacramento and Seattle will have a chance to present their case at that meeting, Stern said.

The NBA Board of Governors will convene April 18, when a vote is expected to take place on the sale and relocation of the Kings franchise. A sale of a franchise requires a three-fourths majority approval of owners, while relocation requires just a simple majority.

Stern said he is still hopeful that the Sacramento bid, led by 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire grocery tycoon Ron Burkle, will be comparable to the Seattle offer by the time owners have to make a decision.

"I think right now it is fair to say that the offers are not comparable," Stern said.

Mastrov, among the final bidders for the Warriors before Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team for an NBA-record $450 million in 2010, is hoping to become the majority owner of the Kings. Burkle, co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, is leading the effort to build a new downtown Sacramento arena that he hopes will also lure back a WNBA franchise.

Mastrov was sitting courtside at the Rockets-Warriors game and said he wasn't surprised by Stern's comments. He said his group is still negotiating final terms with Sacramento and the NBA on a bid.

"It's all part of the process," said Mastrov, who will attend both meetings in New York.

The commissioner lauded the work done by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to organize the counteroffer, calling the efforts "Herculean." Johnson, a former All-Star point guard, has been trying to keep Sacramento's only major professional franchise from leaving California's capital city for more than two years.

Last year, Johnson had a handshake deal for a new downtown arena with the Maloof family that owns the Kings. The owners backed out of the plan, which included a $255 million public subsidy, saying it didn't make financial sense for the franchise.

Johnson's latest plan is to revitalize the city with an arena at the Downtown Plaza shopping mall owned by JMA Ventures, whose officers have said they are eager to participate. To show Sacramento support for the Kings, Johnson also has lined up at least 20 local investors who each committed $1 million.

Despite all the mayor's efforts, Stern said the financial contribution from the Sacramento group is still lagging behind Seattle's bid.

"There's a substantial variance," Stern said. "I have an expectation, a hope, that the variance will be eliminated by the time the owners give it consideration."

Stern also said he has spoken with Kings minority owner John Kehriotis about a separate bid to keep the team in Sacramento. Kehriotis has floated the possibility of a mostly privately financed upgrade to the team's current suburban arena.

A Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has had a signed agreement since January to acquire a 65 percent stake in the Kings for $341 million from the Maloof family. The group already has petitioned the league to relocate the team to Seattle for next season, restore the SuperSonics name and play in KeyArena for at least two years while a new downtown arena is constructed.

Both the Seattle group and the Maloofs have been asked by the NBA not to comment on the issue.

Hansen has been at the forefront of bringing the NBA back to the basketball-loving Pacific Northwest city. He reached agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a $490 million NBA/NHL arena near the city's other stadiums, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.

No construction will begin on that project until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured.

If the Seattle bid is blocked by NBA owners, the Maloofs would still have to agree to sell the team to any other group. However, Stern said the board has some influence on these matters and remains confident there will a resolution one way or another.

"If an ownership group has decided to exit our league," Stern said, "it doesn't retain the ultimate right to tell us where it's going to be located."

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Relax Sacremento, you get will a get a team when someone finally realizes that the Raptors have no business being in Toronto anymore. Well that's if Kansas City or St. Louis doesn't beat you to it first.

Gorilla Pimp

Popped a molly i'm sweatin, WOO
Sacramento has some good young talent and could be a pretty decent team in a few years.


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Fuck you NBA.

Hansen has 'no plans to give up' fight for Kings

The recommendation has been made, the vote is set and the Sacramento Kings seem all but assured of staying in California's capital city.

Or are they?

In yet another twist to this unprecedented fight between two West Coast cities, investor Chris Hansen has vowed to "move forward with the transaction" he has with the Maloof family to buy the Kings and move the team to Seattle despite a unanimous recommendation from the NBA's relocation committee for owners to reject the bid.

Hansen said he plans to lobby the NBA Board of Governors, which consists of all 30 owners, again anyway the week of May 13. The board is expected to vote on the issue and follow the committee's recommendation — which NBA Commissioner David Stern also is supporting — during that meeting.

"When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible," Hansen wrote to Seattle fans on his website late Monday night, hours after the seven-person committee handed down its recommendation. "While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind."

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson remembers hearing about impossible, too.

In 2011, the Maloofs made plans to move the Kings to Anaheim, Calif. At one point, Johnson seemed so certain the team was gone he called the process a "slow death" and compared the city's efforts to keep the Kings to a "Hail Mary."

Instead, Johnson surprisingly convinced the NBA to give the city one last chance to help finance an arena. He delivered on his promise of a new arena plan — given Stern's seal of approval — before the end of last season. But in a stunning move, the Maloofs backed out of the tentative deal for a downtown arena, saying it didn't make financial sense.

The city of Sacramento and the owners broke off talks, reigniting fears the franchise could relocate. Cities such as Virginia Beach, Las Vegas and Kansas City surfaced as potential new homes.

In January, the Maloofs caught Sacramento — and to a certain extent, the NBA — by surprise when they announced the deal with Hansen's group, which includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and members of the Nordstrom department store family.

Led by Johnson, Sacramento fought back to make the sale and relocation of the Kings tough for the league to recommend. He pushed a non-binding financing plan for a $447 million downtown arena through the Sacramento City Council — complete with a $258 million public subsidy — and lined up an ownership group to try to compete with the powerful Seattle contingent.

At a packed pep rally at a downtown restaurant late Monday afternoon, Kings fans serenaded Johnson with chants of "Sac-ra-mento!" He called the committee's recommendation a "big day for the city of Sacramento" but cautioned fans not to declare victory just yet.

"We do not want to dance in the end zone. We do not want to celebrate prematurely," Johnson said.

TIBCO software chairman Vivek Ranadive, the head of the Sacramento investor group Johnson assembled to mount a competing bid to keep the Kings, also expressed excitement.

"I'm speechless. Thanks to all of the amazing people who supported this great effort," tweeted Ranadive, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors who could become the first Indian-born majority owner of an NBA team. He would have to sell his share in the Warriors if his group's bid for the Kings is successful.

"We did it, baby," said California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The Sacramento Democrat joined Johnson and Republican state Senator Ted Gaines at the rally in a show of bipartisan support.

Barbara "Sign Lady" Rust, as she has become known by Kings fans, waived a sign as Johnson spoke that read: "Love found a way, now here we stay!"

"You should have seen me a few hours ago," she said. "I totally lost it. First I jumped like a crazy woman for a minute. Then I cried."

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Does it seem right that the head of the NBA's relocation committee is the asshole who moved our team in the first place? And then the shithead votes to not relocate. Fuck your mother's cunt.