The Maloof family is on the verge of selling the Sacramento Kings to a group that has aspirations of moving the team to Seattle, Washington by the 2013-14 season, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
According to the report by Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal that is expected to be finalized relatively soon will give the Kings franchise to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer for approximately $500 million.
If Hansen and Ballmer were to purchase the team, their main course of action would be to have the team play at the KeyArena for two seasons before moving into a new Seattle arena.
Ultimately, if the deal is finalized it would bring an abrupt end to the Kings’ movement rumors which have been rampant over the past two seasons and provide Seattle with an NBA team for the first time since the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 2008 and came to be known as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Seattle was stripped of their team five years ago by a group led by businessman Clayton Bennett, who bought the SuperSonics franchise in 2006 and then swiftly moved the team to Oklahoma City two years later, one of the most controversial relocations in NBA history.
Since the SuperSonics movement, Seattle has always been rumored to possibly become the new home of an NBA team, however this is the most serious negotiations of a possible movement to the city have gotten and it now appears imminent that the Sacramento Kings will move to Seattle as soon as next season.
The city of Seattle was unfairly and frankly unethically deprived of their NBA team five years ago and now it is time for the Hansen-Ballmer group to right that wrong. Seattle has an excellent basketball history, as future Hall of Famer Gary Payton and power forward Shawn Kemp, among others have called Seattle their longtime basketball home.
I would love to see Seattle get an NBA team again and the city as well as former SuperSonics fans have been anxious to have another NBA team move to Seattle after being duped by former owner Bennett six years ago.
Seattle had one of the best fanbases in the NBA when the SuperSonics were there and truly made the KeyArena one of the most intimidating places to play in the league.
It appears the city’s hopes will be fulfilled by Hansen and Ballmer and now Seattle can rejoice, rejoice in the fact that they will most likely not permanently lose an NBA team at the hands of Clayton Bennett.