Is NBA losing its taste for Chris Hansen?
Seattle’s publicly-anointed NBA savior Chris Hansen is being compared to Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett for the way he tried to influence a public vote on Sacramento’s new arena. Will his political action sour the league on Seattle?
Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who had the Kings on their way to Seattle before the NBA helped Sacramento keep the team, is being called slimy and underhanded by many after he secretly donated $100,000 to the campaign to derail a new arena in Sacramento.
It’s something Hansen now says he regrets.
Some say it’s the same type of dirty move Clay Bennett would make, since most people believe he was underhanded and less than truthful to Seattle before moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City.
Upsetting fans is one thing, but will his secret funding of this campaign hurt Seattle’s chances of getting a new team in the eyes of the NBA?
NBA.com writer Scott Howard-Cooper said it could certainly hurt Hansen’s credibility with the league, and he believes any future ownership group would take the NBA’s temperature about Hansen before moving forward.
“Someone will give them a pretty realistic read and say ‘You know what, it’s a dumb thing but we all do dumb things so it won’t hurt you.’ Or somebody will say ‘These things are close calls as you found out with the Sacramento deal and the little things can sometimes hurt you, and maybe it’s best if he’s a sort of a silent investor in this one,'” he said.
But Howard-Cooper doesn’t believe this political move by Hansen will impact how the NBA views Seattle as a potential market for another team.
“I cannot see how this would derail the entire Seattle bid,” he said. “There are just too many positives there.”
But some speculate that this move by Hansen to secretly fund an arena vote in Sacramento could hurt his credibility with leaders in Seattle and King County, who have supported his plan to build a new arena in SoDo, and could impact their decisions on going forward with it.