The NBA’s Board of Governors voted at a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday to reject an investment group’s effort to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, according to multiple reports. USA Today Sports and NBCSports.com reported that the Board followed the lead of the league’s Relocation Committee, which unanimously recommended in April that the relocation bid should not go through. By league rules, any franchise sale requires approval from 23 of the league’s 30 owners while any prospective relocation requires 16 “yes” votes. Seattle radio station KJR reported that eight owners voted to approve the move while 22 voted against it. NBA commissioner David Stern initially expected the decision to be made during mid-April Board of Governors meetings, only to push that back multiple times. Stern has repeatedly referred to the handling of the Kings as one of the toughest decisions he’s faced as commissioner. “It’s the only time in the last 47 years that I haven’t known the answer,” he said back in April. “No, but this is one that’s just been quite difficult and confusing for the owners as well. And we’ve been working very hard to give it a structure at their direction. We’re the staff, and we are trying to answer every question that they have.” The NBA announced a purchase and sale agreement between the Maloofs, who own a controlling interest of the Kings, and a Seattle-area group of investors — led by Valiant Capital’s Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – back in January. That deal involved a purchase of 65 percent of the team at an overall franchise valuation of $525 million. The group later filed the requisite paperwork to relocate the franchise to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, where the organization would have taken on the “SuperSonics” moniker, and then upped its offer based on a $550 million valuation. The original SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008.
NBA Board of Governors vote to reject Kings relocation to Seattle
SI | May 15