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Is Hansen’s ‘shot across the bow’ enough to sway NBA owners?

NBA owners meet Wednesday to begin deciding whether to approve the sale of the Sacramento Kings to Chris Hansen and moving the team to Seattle. (AP image)

Is Chris Hansen’s increased offer for the Sacramento Kings enough to seal the deal? At the very least, it’s a significant “shot across the bow,” KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels told the Bob and Groz Show Monday.

Daniels has been the lead reporter on Hansen’s efforts to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle along with building a new arena. He said Hansen’s voluntary offer to up his bid by $25 million tells Sacramento “if you’re serious about this, just so you know, we’ve got money, we’re willing to spend it.”

Daniels also said sources have told him the Sacramento investment group seeking to counter Hansen won’t match his deal to buy a seven percent share of the Kings in bankruptcy court.

“So that’s another $15.1 million,” Daniels said, which means Hansen has deals to purchase 72 percent of the team.

“We haven’t even gone down the road of talking about relocation fees and other fees and paying off loans,” Daniels said of the additional money Hansen has committed to spending.

It all makes for a compelling case for Seattle’s offer. But even though Daniels and others are convinced the Seattle bid is much stronger and further along, at the end of the day that might not be the deciding factor.

“Relationships matter,” Daniels said of the NBA owners who will ultimately decide whether to approve the Kings sale and move or block it. Only eight owners need to say no to kill the deal- and lead Sacramento investor Vivek Ranadive has close ties to a number of them as a co-owner of the league’s Golden State Warriors.

But Daniels pointed out Hansen has forged some close ties with several owners as well. He said Hansen and adviser Wally Walker, the former SuperSonics General Manager and minority owner, have formed a strong bond with Boston Celtics owner Irv Grousbeck, whose son Wycliffe runs the team and sits on the combined finance and relocation committee.

The committee meets Wednesday in a special session ahead of the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting with all owners Thursday and Friday, when a decision could be reached.

“Seattle is definitely further ahead,” said Daniels. “It’s just a question of with Sacramento, is it enough to say this is not the time for Seattle.”

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