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Slam dunk – Sacramento mayor tells Seattle group to back off

Seattle investor Chris Hansen isn't giving up in the bid to buy the Sacramento Kings. The NBA Board of Governors takes a final vote next week. (Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)

In a slam dunk, Sacramento’s mayor is telling Seattle’s investors Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to “take the high road and be gracious” by taking a “step back” from their attempt to buy and relocate the Kings.

That’s what he would do if the roles were reversed, he says.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told reporters he’s not being overly confident with his city’s bid to keep the NBA franchise, but the game seems to be over for Seattle.

The last vote was 7-0 against Seattle’s deal to buy the Kings, move them to our city, and have them eventually play in a new arena here.

“Once the relocation committee spoke as loud and as clear as it did, I would probably take a step back and understand that I’m probably not going to get this team, so how can I put Seattle in the best possible position to get a team moving forward?” Johnson told Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis.

Johnson also noted, “in some respect, you’re poaching, you’re taking somebody else’s team.”

And he offered this advice to the Seattle investment group, “I would take the high road, and I would be gracious.”

I don’t believe it. KJ would fight just as Hansen and Ballmer are behind the scenes.

Take the high road? Hansen is already there.

“When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible,” Hansen wrote to fans last month.

“While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.”

The full NBA board of governors is expected to vote May 15 on whether to approve the Maloof family’s sale of the Kings to Hansen, Ballmer and members of the Nordstrom family, or give it to a Sacramento group of investors.


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