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Linda Thomas
Among the insults coming our way from Sacramento Bee columnists is this gem, "Known as the Emerald City, Seattle in this little drama has a new identity: the Bipolar City of Limited Introspection." (Richard Drew, AP photo)

Sacramento press calls Chris Hansen a ‘bully' and worse

Your impression of Chris Hansen probably depends on where you live.

In Seattle, he's a wealthy hero fighting to bring an NBA team back to the Emerald City. In Sacramento, he's a 'bully' or is overcompensating for something with his increased offer to buy the Kings for a total value of $625 million.

Their comments follow the verbal slam dunk last week from Sacramento's Mayor, Kevin Johnson, who suggested Hansen take the high road and back off. He says that's what he'd do.

First, the implication that hedge fund manager Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer are bullies comes from Sacramento Bee columnist Ailene Viosin who writes:

"Don't you just hate bullies? People who hide behind their portfolios and their publicists? Billionaires who sneak around corners and sucker-punch with their financial data? Wannabe NBA owners who throw temper tantrums - in this case by tossing more cash into the coffer - days after the league's relocation committee recommends keeping the Kings in Sacramento by a unanimous vote?

Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer seem to assume everyone can be bought."

She's referring to the $75 million added Friday to the bid to purchase the Kings. She goes on to praise the deal Kevin Johnson has put together and says, "beware of bullies. And hide the piggy banks."

Sacramento Bee sports writer Marcos Breton doesn't seem to be a Hansen fan either, as he writes:

"When hedge fund billionaire Chris Hansen on Friday raised his group's now-obscene offer to buy the Kings, lifting the franchise's value to $625 million, two thoughts came to mind:

One could imagine the Maloofs, the current Kings owners, dancing gleefully while screaming "Goody! Goody! Goody!," given their emotional immaturity and years-long thirst to profit on the franchise they trashed. (That part seems true)

Hansen's outsized play also brought to mind a scene from "Shrek." The pint-sized villain desperate to be king had built himself an enormously tall castle, prompting Shrek to ask, "Do you think maybe he's compensating for something?"

Yes. Even in an ego-driven business like the NBA, the posture of Hansen - and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft - is preposterous.

Breton asks, where were Hansen and Ballmer when Howard Schultz was busy losing the Sonics to Oklahoma City?

"The Seattle contingent's actions reflect a pathological quest - cheered on by politicians and fans - to compensate for their original blunder: Their failure to act until it was too late to stop Seattle's old NBA team, the SuperSonics, from leaving in 2008.

Seattle drew a line in the sand back then with its refusal to grant public subsidies for a new Sonics arena. The city's politicians antagonized NBA Commissioner David Stern in the process. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, sold the Sonics to Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City. Then other Seattle titans, like Ballmer, didn't materialize until it was too late to prevent the Sonics from relocating to Oklahoma.

Whose fault is that?

Known as the Emerald City, Seattle in this little drama has a new identity: the Bipolar City of Limited Introspection."

He concludes by calling Seattle, "A beautiful city projecting an ugly picture."

Stay classy Sacramento.

Sacramento has also released drawings for its vision of what a new NBA arena would look like there.

The NBA's Board of Governors will meet in Dallas Wednesday May 15 for a final vote on the proposed sale of the Kings. There was word there would be a phone meeting on Monday.

"We have no comment on today's call," the league said in a statement.


About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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