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New report says Chris Hansen in talks with NBA for expansion team

Let the speculation start again. Just weeks after the NBA voted down Chris Hansen’s effort to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle, there’s word Hansen has begun “productive talks” with the league about bringing an expansion team to town.

Tim Montemayor with KGO Radio in San Francisco reported Wednesday via Twitter several NBA sources have confirmed the talks, and Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are “aware of a working plan to return the NBA to Seattle,” he wrote.

“As the league preps for a new TV deal they have discussed a timetable but have not settled the issue,” he said.

Hansen said in interviews after losing his bid he never intended to steal another city’s team and would not have pursued the Kings if he hadn’t been told their departure was inevitable.

Hansen recently said he was optimistic the NBA would return to Seattle in the coming years and seemed to favor an expansion team after his bruising Sacramento battle.

“It was again made clear to me today that Chris Hansen did an about-face in attitude and tone late in the NBA Kings fight and that is the only reason expansion would be ‘likely and viable’ in Seattle,” Montemayor tweeted.

“It is believed Hansen is one of the few or the only one who can overcome the hurdles put forward in Seattle,” Montemayor continued, adding that his source told him, “‘The passion that had (Hansen) fighting so hard will be counted on to complete the process’ in Seattle.”

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