Stern’s Take Double Good News For Seattle Backers

 

HANG TIME WEST – That was some reality check commissioner David Stern delivered to Sacramento on Friday night when he said the counter-strike to keep the Kings is so far behind the Seattle package that it won’t even receive serious consideration unless the deal in the California capital gets better.

That would have been encouraging enough for the attractive bid out of Washington state. The real uplifting news for the group trying to revive the SuperSonics, the real take-away from Stern’s blunt analysis before Rockets-Warriors in Oakland, is the new awareness of how much the league is holding Sacramento’s hand during a very challenging process.

In short: Not as much as it seemed before.

Stern has always wanted the Kings to stay. They would have been gone years ago if not for Stern guiding the Maloof family, the owners who almost always followed the commissioner’s lead on any league matter. He previously believed in Kevin Johnson as a first-term mayor and newbie politician at any level. More recently, either Stern or top aides have been in regular contact with Sacramento after leaders there were caught flat-footed by the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer that was more proactive and more organized.

But for the Sacramento proposal to be so lacking that Stern said the offer is “not comparable” to the one from Seattle is very interesting insight. Either the league is not holding Sacramento’s hand to the point of telling Johnson specifically what the bid needs to look like, as it once seemed, or Mayor KJ, Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle as lead private investors didn’t listen. Either way, Stern has drawn a line between encouraging the Sacramento efforts and privately leading them.

This is not close to game over. Mastrov, a Bay Area resident who attended Warriors-Rockets, downplayed Stern’s comments by telling The Associated Press that “It’s all part of the process.” He’s right. But he’s also spinning: Johnson waited so long, beyond his own original timeline, to deliver a sparkling offer on the purchase of the team and the construction of an arena, and now it should be painfully clear to the Sacramento backers that the city did not. This is not the process they wanted.

Johnson missed the chance to truly lobby owners and other influential NBA leaders at All-Star weekend when he showed up in Houston without a Sacramento bid to spotlight and now he has missed the chance to push back hard at Seattle. Sacramento needs to regroup again, and now it is clear Stern will only hold their hand so far.

20 Comments

  1. Kusum Kumari says:

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  2. rkw says:

    Seattle is a diverse place culturally, but don’t be confused, Seattle and surrounding area do want the NBA back in Seattle! We do care!

  3. ben says:

    bye bye kings

  4. Billee Lorig says:

    Mastrov has basically 19 business days out of 24 calendar days to come up with a Bid, Arena Deal & a solid financial infrastructure…sorry to say, it is not going to happen.

  5. JarHead44 says:

    From an outsider just being able to see what is published and posted, the efforts of Sacramentans, in the words of Stern, has been Herculean and not just recently. The constant for Sacramento has been owners that can’t afford a team (Thomas & Lukenbill) or bad business people and broke (Maloofs). Seattle had two bad owners (Schultz & Bennett)! Actually that is not fair, Bennett doesn’t appear to be a bad owner, he was just a liar! Schultz was a bad owner because he was a basketball fan, that wanted a team and had no business being an owner!

    To address Michael’s comment about not despising the NBA and/ or Stern, you may not however, you clearly don’t read comments by many of your fellow Seattle fans! To read the majority of posts is like reading comments by a jilted lover! For you to say the NBA is not despised is disingenuous at best. It is like a desperate politician saying they loath a portion of the electorate and then saying ‘that is not what I meant! My comments were taken out of context.’

  6. Sooty says:

    Censorship is not cool.

  7. Seattle Fan says:

    I would rather see the Kings lineup join the Seahawks. Demarcus @ DT Tyreke going deep and Isaiah Thomas running the football.
    It would be fun to see Jimmer get crushed as well

  8. ^ Scott Howardspooper says:

    lol Most people in Seattle don’t even care..

  9. balls in Sacs court says:

    This may all sound negative for Sacramento. But it means clearly that the NBA is still encouraging the competitive Sacramento bid, and if such a bid is coaxed, I am confident it will be accepted.

    Everyone talks about that 30 mil that Hansen paid the aloofs but forget that they owe sac 80 mil, and have for over 10 years. Think about how that debt has already impacted Sacramento. If the rug were to be pulled out from under what Sacramento has invested into this franchise there will be repercussive considerations impeding on future public subsidy negotiations with Cities regarding all professional sports organizations.

    I think a bid around 300 mil can take it. This would value the franchise at around $500. But if Mastrov couldn’t do the Warriors for $450 how can he do the Kings for $500? The owners want to see a continued increase of their franchise value; that’s their bottom line.

  10. AR says:

    Kevin Johnson is being a smart politician by pursuing a route which he appears to have little hope of winning. He has advisers, and his advisers saw what happened to Greg Nickles when he let the Sonics leave Seattle with virtually no fight (defeated in the primary election by Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn, two virtual unknowns). Even if the Kings move Johnson will be able to say honestly come election time – should he wish to continue to serve in the relatively weak position of Mayor of Sacramento (essentially just an at-large city councilor with extra “spokesman” duties) or should he wish to seek higher elected office, that he put his best foot forward in terms of trying to keep them in town.

  11. Michael says:

    Who said we despise the NBA? David Stern is out after this year and we have wanted our team back since they left. I know the cost to do that is more than it should be but there will not be expansion for a while, don’t kid yourself. And everyone is all upset because the Kings are the only pro team in Sacramento but I feel if the team were that important to the city they would have done something a long time ago to prevent this, it’s not the first time they have been on the verge of relocating. And maybe there is a reason for that. They aren’t big enough to keep a pro team. The Kings aren’t even from Sacramento originally, but the Sonics were always in Seattle and were around a lot longer than the Kings. Who cares if Hansen/Ballmer overpay for the team? They don’t. And the public isn’t going to be dishing out a bunch of money for this to happen. And the price for parking and hot dogs won’t be anything more than anywhere else. Thanks for your concern though.

    • Jason Page says:

      Is Sacramento about the same size as Oklahoma city ? Sacramento does has much better TV market !

  12. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    KEVIN DURANT should play for SEATTLE SUPER SONICS…

    • Jason Page says:

      Leave the Kings in Sactown without Maloofy’s for their great Fans and return the Sonics from Oakieville

    • jake s says:

      Got some bad news for ya man. Currently Seattle kind of has claim to KD. Every commentator considers OKC the same franchise as Seattle. BUT, After the relocation, KD will be all ours and OKC-Seattle ties will be gone for ever.

  13. JarHead44 says:

    It still is amusing to me that Seattle fans, who despise Stern and NBA for taking their beloved Sonics, want so desperately back into the league! You realize that Hansen is overpaying for a horrible franchise that he wouldn’t be paying if he waited for an expansion team. An expansion team is coming. Maybe not next year but soon. Also the jacked up ticket prices you are going to pay in order for Hansen/Balmer to recoup their investment for this overpriced franchise is comical. The money paid for those shiny new Sonics jersey’s is money going right into Bennett’s greedy pockets as well! Ever heard of revenue sharing? Dumb arsses!!!!!!

    You should dedicate your hard earned money to leagues that are not lying, thieving, scumbags like the NFL and MLB. Sacramento should keep their team not because I support the NBA, but because it is their only team. But since it appears that all of you in Seattle seem to know what the tea leaves are saying then enjoy getting screwed again by the very people you so despise. Oh, you can add the Maloofs to that group as well!

    Maybe the Maloofs are not so stupid! They are getting more money than they should for the team they ran into the ground and screwed a city and its loyal fans yet again! The Maloofs, Magoofed, Hansen and the loyal Sonics fans get bent over yet again.

    Come to think of it, maybe Kevin Johnson IS the smartest of the whole group, because the arena plan will go through and Sacramento will get a new franchise for a fraction of the price with expansion! Sacramento, KJ, Mastrov/Burkle, and loyal Kings fans may end up thanking the morons, AKA the Maloofs. Oh and lastly the relocation fee, yeah the one Hansen/Balmer will be paying, is going to Sterns retirement bonus and Bennett’s bank account! I wonder how much two tickets, parking, two dogs, and two beers will be in Seattle next year? You get what you wish for! Idiots! Good luck Sacramento!

    • Bird33 says:

      Oh yes…the NFL is a league with a stellar reputation of downplaying concussions, bounties for hits etc. all major sports have a seedy business side to them…take your pick. Wake up and smell popcorn big fella….they’re all in it for the money..it is what it is.

  14. Seattle Sports Fan says:

    I think Sacramento as a whole here is in trouble. They know they can’t win this matchup with the better equipped and more organized and financially strong Hansen-Ballmer Group which has already paid out the $341 million to aquire majority controlling ownership in the Kings Franchise including the $30 million non-refundable deposit toward Relocation.

    The Maloof Brothers got what they wanted out of this, Their Money, a way out of their debt and an escape rout from NBA Team ownership by selling the team to a Seattle based investment group without even giving Sacramento a shot at trying to keep the team local, it was their way to of sticking it to the city and the NBA for that matter. They literally pulled the ground out from underneath Sacramento fans and supporters and pulled a fast one and before anyone knew what happened, the Kings were sold and being Relocated.

    As for the Sacramento Counter offer from the Mastrov-Burkle group, it was not enough and frankly even if it does improve, its not likely at all to come close to matching Seattle’s purchase agreement which is already pending approval by the NBA BOG.
    Stern has drawn the line in the sand and laid down the gauntlet so to speak. He’s issued the ultimatum to Sacramento that they had better siginificantly sweeteen the Deal for a counter offer bid which must include a suitable Arena deal otherwise they will not even be considered and their offer will be tossed out and Seattle will emerge the Victor in the end.

    At this stage of the game, it would not be suprising to see the NBA vote against Sacramento and Approve Relocation to Seattle. Mayor Johnson’s efforts may very well be a 12th hour last ditch attempt to delay the inevitable.