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Reports: Sacramento promises match to NBA; Maloofs set new deadline

Sacramento Kings fans sign the "Playing to Win" RV parked outside the hotel where NBA meetings regarding the possible relocation of the Sacramento Kings basketball team to Seattle happened Wednesday, April 3 in New York. (AP Photo)

Reports say a Sacramento investment team has notified the NBA that it will match the offer Chris Hansen’s group has made to buy the Kings, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The Maloof family, current majority owners of the team, originally set a Friday 5:00 p.m. deadline for the group to send in a “written, binding offer,” on a backup offer if the NBA rejected the Seattle bid. now reports the Maloofs will give Sacramento extra time to submit an offer.

Former SuperSonics broadcaster Kevin Calabro warns Seattle fans not to give up yet because this is just a backup offer from Sacramento. It doesn’t necessarily mean Sacramento surges ahead of Seattle in terms of the sale process.

“This only means that what they’re attempting to do is come up with terms and money and a figure that is satisfying to the Maloofs as a backup offer,” Calabro said.

The NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and decide the Kings’ future in meetings next week, April 18-19. It’s not clear if the NBA is also expecting a written offer from the Sacramento group.

The Maloofs have asked for a matching bid of $341 million Hansen’s group offered to buy the team earlier this year. reports the match would also have to include a $30 million non-refundable deposit the Seattle group made in an offer to buy 65 percent of the team.

Sources say that the Sacramento group’s bid does include that $30 million, according to

A former Facebook executive joined the investment team in Sacramento on Friday. The Bee reports a source says Chris Kelly, who also ran for Attorney General in 2010, has joined the group.

After several change ups in the group this week, the new roll call includes developer Mark Friedman, 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, and Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive.

Calabro doesn’t think the changes serve Sacramento well.

“It certainly muddies the water a little bit. I think the owners want clarity in this things and that’s what the Hansen-Balmer group gives them and they’ve had that…for some time.”

Calabro also said owners have enough to think about with the playoff’s beginning next week.

“You put yourself in the shoes of the owners, those Gucci loafers, and it’s a little difficult to keep track of this stuff when your focus is certainly on your basketball team,” said Calabro.

Meanwhile, the final legal hurdle standing in front of the proposed SoDo arena is gone, following a hearing Friday in a King County courtroom.

The suit was filed by Citizens for More Important Things and claims the arena deal does not satisfy the requirements of Initiative-91, which Seattle voters passed in 2006.

I-91 requires that the city must make money on any arena deal that it enters into.

King County Executive Dow Constantine commented on Judge Middaugh’s decision, “This ruling is yet another in a long line of affirmations that the city and county are doing things right in the effort to bring the Sonics home. We will continue to work in our region’s best interest to make this happen.”

The arena plan survived its first lawsuit, brought by union port workers who claimed the agreement violated state environmental law.


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