NBA owners vote to reject Sacramento Kings' proposed move to Seattle

The 22-8 vote follows recommendation made last month by the league's relocation committee and likely brings to an end an emotional three-year drama for fans in Sacrament and Seattle.

May 15, 2013
  • Kings fan Kris Haskins holds a "Here We Stay" sign after hearing the NBA owners rejected the franchise's move to Seattle on Wednesday.
Kings fan Kris Haskins holds a "Here We Stay" sign after hearing… (Hector Amezcua / McClathcy-Tribune )

NBA owners voted Wednesday to reject the Sacramento Kings' proposed move to Seattle, the latest in a long line of cities that have tried to land the franchise.

The 22-8 vote in Dallas followed a recommendation made last month by the NBA's relocation committee and may have finally brought an end to an emotional saga that has dragged on for nearly three years.

A group led by investor Chris Hansen had a deal to buy the team. Hansen hoped to move the franchise to Seattle and rename it the SuperSonics. The original Sonics were moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and were renamed the Thunder.

Commissioner David Stern said the league will spend the next 24 to 48 hours talking to the Maloofs, the team's owners, about working out a deal with a competing ownership group in Sacramento.

"The big winner here was Sacramento," Stern said.

The Maloofs reached an agreement in January to sell a 65% controlling interest in the team to Hansen's group at a total franchise valuation of $525 million, topping the NBA-record $450 million for Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to buy the Warriors in 2010. Then Hansen increased his offer to $550 million, which implies buying the 65% stake for about $357 million.

Following the relocation committee's unanimous recommendation on April 29 to deny the move to Seattle, Hansen and Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer dug deeper into their pockets in a final attempt to sway the NBA Board of Governors. They raised the valuation of the Kings to $625 million, or $406 million for the Maloofs' interest in the franchise, and offered a $115-million relocation fee, nearly four times what Clay Bennett paid to move the Sonics.

Hansen's group also guaranteed owners that the franchise would pay into the league's revenue-sharing system in Seattle and not collect money as it has in Sacramento.

They were aggressive and bold public statements that had been lacking from the Seattle group through much of the process while Sacramento openly made its case in the public eye.

As a backup, the Seattle group negotiated a plan to buy a minority stake in the Kings with the Maloofs retaining majority ownership and keeping the team in Sacramento.

Stern said the Board of Governors considered the $625 million offer from the Seattle group and that the competing Sacramento group had matched the original offer of $525 million for the Kings.

"It's my expectation that we'll be able to make a deal with the Maloofs and the [Vivek)] Ranadive group to transfer title of the team in Sacramento. It's not a certainty but we're going to work for that result," Stern said.

It's the second time since 2011 that the Maloof brothers have made plans that would have ended in relocation for the Kings. The first target was Anaheim, but Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former All-Star guard, convinced the NBA to give the city another chance to finance a new arena.


Rutgers selected Julie Hermann its new athletic director, and the former No. 2 athletic administrator at Louisville promised a restart for the scandal-scarred program following the ouster of its men's basketball coach and the resignation of other officials.

Hermann replaces Tim Pernetti, who quit last month after the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice. Practice videos surfaced of Rice shoving and throwing basketballs at players and yelling gay slurs at them.

Hermann will be paid $450,000 annually as a base salary with $50,000 in incentives and $35,000 contributed to a deferred compensation plan, according to a university release.

Pernetti received $1.2 million in salary, plus an iPad, car allowance and more than two years of health insurance coverage under a settlement agreement, according to documents released under open public records laws.

Hermann had been senior associate athletic director at Louisville. She becomes the first woman to head Rutgers' athletic program and one of three female ADs at the schools which make up the 124 playing at college football's top tier.


Back pain forced Andy Murray to retire midway through his second-round match at the Italian Open in Rome. He may have to sit out the French Open, too.

Rafael Nadal began his bid for a seventh Rome title by cruising past local hope Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-1, 6-3, in just 61 minutes, and two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova eased past Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza, 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, rising Polish player Jerzy Janowicz upset eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 7-6 (5), then celebrated by ripping his shirt apart, showing off his muscular physique.

Murray, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, walked off the court after winning the second set against Spanish opponent Marcel Granollers.

"I have an issue with my lower back," Murray said. "It's been an issue for a while."

Murray took a long injury break early in the second set, getting his left thigh and lower back massaged.

Granollers won the first set 6-3 and Murray won the second 7-6 (5).

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