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Chris Hansen says he never meant to steal another NBA team

Investor Chris Hansen says he’s wouldn’t have tried to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle if he had known the city would fight so hard to keep the NBA.

“When we began this process, we were really under the impression that the Kings would be moving from Sacramento and it was just a matter of where,” Hansen tells KING 5 in his first interview since NBA owners rejected his effort to purchase the Kings.

“If we would have thought it would result in a Seattle versus Sacramento keeping their Kings fight like it appears to have at the end, that would have probably been something we would have been less interested in from the get go.”

Hansen says he remains undeterred in his quest to bring an NBA team back to his home town. But he says he will tread far more carefully going forward, and it’s important other cities and the league don’t see his investment group as “predatory.”

“Other cities should not feel like our group is coming to wrestle their team loose,” he says. “I think we’ll be extra careful the next time to ensure that it is a team that the NBA wants moved and that is truly not working in that community.”

The NBA Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive.

Hansen had reached agreement earlier this year with the Maloof family, the majority owners of the Kings, for their 65 percent share of the team. But owners voted to block the move earlier this month, ending his bid.

Still, Hansen says the mission isn’t over until “we have a team back. It’s pretty simple. Not more complicated than that.”

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