Maloofs close to selling Kings to Seattle investment group
The Maloof family is nearing a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group of Seattle-area investors for “approximately $500 million,” Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday. The group, led by Valiant Capital’s Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, will reportedly eye relocation to Seattle as soon as the 2013-14 season. Back in October, it was reported that the NBA was pressuring the Maloof family to sell the Kings to the Seattle group. The franchise would replace the SuperSonics, who played in Seattle from 1967-68 until 2008, when they were relocated to Oklahoma City and renamed the Thunder.
The Seattle group has worked extensively with the city of Seattle to build a new arena. The current plan, Yahoo! Sports reported, is for the franchise to play in KeyArena for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons before the new arena opens.
Eric Rose, a spokesman for the Maloofs, told SI.com Wednesday that the organization would have no comment on the reported sale.
“As we have said for nearly a year, we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the Sacramento Kings franchise,” Rose said.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who played 12 seasons in the NBA, asked his city’s residents to “keep the faith” on Twitter.
“Bottom line Sacramento: it’s not over,” Johnson tweeted.
The Associated Press reported that the NBA league office declined comment on the report.
In a recent ESPN.com radio interview, NBA commissioner David Stern sounded optimistic that an NBA franchise would return to Seattle.
“There’s so much activity now in Seattle,” Stern said. “There’s a plan for a building, land has been acquired, reviews are being undertaken. I think a predicate for a team is a building. I think those plans are underway. I think the answer to your question is yeah. I think there will be a team in Seattle again and I hope there will be.”
Sacramento Kings reportedly being sold, moved to Seattle | The Point Forward - SI.com
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