Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - The NBA's Board of Governors voted Wednesday to
keep the Kings in Sacramento and rejected Chris Hansen's planned relocation of
the franchise to Seattle.
The vote was 22-8 by team owners, commissioner David Stern announced.
"This was not an anti-Seattle vote, it was a pro-Sacramento vote," Stern said
during a press conference.
The Maloof family, current owners of the Kings, had agreed in January to sell
a 65 percent share of the team to a group led by hedge fund manager Hansen and
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who were looking to move the Kings to Seattle and
rename it the SuperSonics. The Board of Governors followed an April committee
recommendation to stop the Kings from relocating.
Seattle lost its NBA franchise to Oklahoma City in 2008.
Stern said the Maloofs have the right to retain ownership of the franchise
instead of selling the team, but the commissioner said it's likely the Maloofs
will make a deal to transfer ownership and said he'd like to see it done "as
soon as possible."
The Maloof family was reportedly threatening not to sell the Kings to the
group that wanted to keep the team in Sacramento.
"They were clear on that point until the end, but their agreement to
ended effectively with the vote," Stern said. "We think that now because the
Maloofs have been overall good for Sacramento and the NBA, they will be
motivated to do something fast so the franchise can get cranking."
The league would ultimately like to return to the Seattle market, though,
according to Adam Silver, the NBA's current deputy commissioner.
"The league continues to enjoy strong support in the Seattle market," Silver
said. "We want to wait and see what happens in our next national television
negotiation. We are confident we will return there one day."
The Sports Network