The agonizing pain of potentially losing the Sacramento Kings is over. The words we’ve been waiting to hear for months, hell, years actually, rang true today – the Sacramento Kings are staying where they belong. Sacramento.
In a near four hour meeting, NBA owners voted 22 to 8 in favor of Sacramento retaining the Kings, a decision that while weighty, was expected since the NBA’s Relocation Committee voted 7-0 in favor of Sacramento a few weeks ago.
While the Maloof family has held strong (at least publicly) that they preferred to sell to the Hansen-Ballmer group, lawyers from both the Vivek Ranadive group as well as the Maloof family have been in discussions about a potential sale for weeks – this from Vivek himself. Obviously, the Maloofs will continue to express that they may keep the franchise, but that’s nothing more than a bargaining tactic. The reality is the Kings are selling for an extremely inflated price, a price that the Maloof family would never see again. There is going to be a sale.
NBA Commissioner David Stern informed the media during his press conference that they will assist both the Maloofs as well as the Vivek group in a potential sale, “expecting” (his word, not mine) that a deal could be completed within 24-48 hours. It’s also been reported that George Maloof requested that the deal be completed in that time frame. Stern said that if a deal is agreed upon, owners will meet “quickly” via conference call to vote on the deal. The Sacramento offer has already been vetted by the NBA’s Finance Committee, which would make the vote all but a formality.
As many, including myself, have stated before, this was not a fight between two cities. This was Sacramento’s game to lose, not Seattle’s to win and that was made extremely clear when Stern informed the press that the owners voted on the updated $625 million dollar offer from the Hansen-Ballmer group.
We’ll continue to follow any details about the potential sale, but tonight, it’s time to celebrate.
The Kings are staying where they belong.