Phil Jackson appeared on the Dan Patrick Show (video link) this morning to promote his new book, to compare Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and to address a few more items of note. The Zen Master confirmed to Patrick that he doesn't intend to return to coaching, but did talk about another job he had discussed with the prospective Seattle ownership group. Here are a few highlights from Jackson's appearance:
On whether he would have been involved with a Seattle franchise had the Kings relocation been approved:
"I had an agreement with the guy that put the deal together for Seattle.... Chris Hansen. I thought he was dynamic, I thought he had great ideas. He went through the whole process of getting an arena. He did everything right, except win the franchise. But his vision I could buy into. I thought he had the right vision for a team. And he made basically the offer of take what you want to take as a job -- a consultant, if you want to be an owner, be a part-owner, work in the basketball operations side of it if you want to, or coach. It didn't matter to him. We talked about a number of things that would progress the team that was going to move, which was Sacramento, which is a team that has to improve to be a significant team that's going to stay in Sacramento."
On whether the Clippers have reached out to him:
"No, I've never had any contact with Clippers management."
On the best offer he has received recently:
"Well, the Brooklyn situation I think is a good situation.... That was coaching, basically. They wanted to know if I was still interested in coaching."
On whether he thinks Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Lakers:
"Would you, if you felt like your game wasn't going to be featured?"
TUESDAY, 2:12pm: Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link) hears that the finance committee will vote on the sale of the Kings early this week, with an official vote by the full Board of Governors coming before the end of May.
MONDAY, 1:45pm: Ranadive doesn't formally own the NBA team yet, tweets Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee, pointing out that the team will move forward with the Maloofs' plan to send coach Keith Smart to the draft lottery. Windhorst has deleted his tweet from yesterday, so perhaps Johnson jumped the gun in saying that Ranadive had assumed control of the franchise. In any case, Ranadive and company remain on track to take over the Kings.
SUNDAY, 1:33pm: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson says NBA owners have approved the sale of the Kings to the Sacramento-based group headed by Vivek Ranadive, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The league had been expected to make a formal announcement of the deal between the Maloof family and Ranadive's group this week, although it was thought that escrow would not close until the end of the month. In any case, Ranadive now has control of the franchise, according to Johnson.
There's usually a much longer gap between the time an agreement on a sale is reached and the point when the purchase becomes official. Last year, Robert Pera agreed to buy the Grizzlies in June, but didn't take control of the team until October 31st. An official announcement from the league has yet to come, but it's not entirely surprising the process was expedited this time around, since the league had a chance to thoroughly vet Ranadive's bid as it sorted out whether to allow the Kings to move to Seattle.
Johnson said earlier this week that the agreement had been "signed on both ends" and that the "money has been wired," so it looked like the green light from the league was the last step in the process. Ranadive was a relative late-comer in an effort that began in earnest in January, around the time the Maloofs reached a deal to sell the team to Seattle investor Chris Hansen and his partners. Johnson spearheaded the effort to put the group together, combining $1MM commitments from 20 Sacramento-area locals with the larger financial backing of deep-pocketed "whales," including Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle. Mastrov became the lead investor, but Burkle, an enemy of the Maloofs, proved a stumbling block, and as he faded from the picture, Ranadive took over the primary reigns of the bid.
The Sacramento group's final purchase price for the Kings is based on a full valuation of the team at $535MM, an NBA record and $10MM greater than Hansen's initial offer. The Maloofs' share is 65%, so that works out to a $347.75MM sum that's changing hands. Hansen and company upped their valuation of the club to $625MM, but ultimately lost out, spending more than $100MM on an ill-fated effort to buy the team.
Of the four NBA divisions that sent three teams to the postseason this year, only the Pacific doesn't have a team still in the hunt, following the eliminations of the Lakers, Clippers, and Warriors. Here's the latest from out west:
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Earlier today, we learned that if the Kings don't keep Keith Smart as their head coach, they're expected to target Warriors assistant Michael Malone. After months of conjecture on the coaching carousel about big names like Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Jerry Sloan, Malone now appears to be one of the most wanted men in the NBA. Here's more from the Pacific division..
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
A little more than 12 hours after we heard that Vivek Ranadive's Sacramento investment group and the Maloof family had struck an agreement to transfer ownership of the Kings, the city of Sacramento held a press conference today to formally announce the good news. Mayor Kevin Johnson praised the city for never giving up on the Kings, and also confirmed that Chris Hansen isn't involved in the deal, so he won't be a minority owner of the team (Twitter link via Chris Daniels of KING5). As the new ownership group prepares to officially take over the Kings, here's a number of other items related to the sale and to the team:
FRIDAY, 9:47am: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson tells the Sacramento Bee that the purchase agreement has been "signed on both ends" and that the "money has been wired." While the deal still has to close, Johnson doesn't anticipate any roadblocks.
"We're hoping to get it all done within the next week or so and the Board of Governors will vote and I don't anticipate any surprises," Johnson said.
THURSDAY, 11:29pm: The Sacramento investment group led by Vivek Ranadive has reached an agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. Bizjak reports that the deal is for an NBA-record valuation of $535MM, $10MM higher than the initial sale price on the Maloofs' agreement with Chris Hansen's Seattle group.
According to Bizjak, the agreement could be formally announced as soon as Friday, and will require approval by the NBA. Assuming the league approves the deal, which seems like a safe bet, escrow is expected to close at the end of May. The new group is expected to assume the Maloofs' entire 65% share of the club.
If the agreement between the current Kings owners and the prospective ownership group becomes official, it would be the end of a lengthy saga that pitted Sacramento and Seattle against one another in a fight for the Kings. Despite Hansen's Seattle group increasing their valuation of the franchise to $625MM, the league's owners voted 22-8 against relocating the Kings to Seattle on Wednesday, urging the Maloofs and Ranadive's group to try to negotiate a deal in the next 24 to 48 hours.
A source tells Bizjak that, after the league's owners voted down the Kings' relocation bid, the Maloofs were eager to "turn the page," and were happy to sell to an ownership group that would keep the team in Sacramento.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) hears that David Stern was an active participant in yesterday's vote over Sacramento/Seattle at the Board of Governors meeting. It's worth noting that despite an offer north of $625MM as well as the $115MM relocation fee that would have been included by the Seattle group, Stern was able to sway the vote in Sacramento's direction, even though it appeared that more owners were in favor of Seattle's offer (All Twitter links). Here are a few more miscellaneous tidbits from around the Association tonight:
Kings fans received some great news yesterday, when the NBA's Board of Governors rejected a bid to relocate the franchise to Seattle. Even with the sale to Chris Hansen's Seattle group seemingly dead, the Kings aren't quite safe in Sacramento yet. The Maloofs still have the right to hang on to the team, though they're currently attempting to negotiate a sale to the Sacramento investment group led by Vivek Ranadive. Here's the latest on the Kings, on and off the court:
6:55pm: According to a tweet from NBA.com's David Aldridge, Ranadive announced that two more parties will be joining his investment group.
5:41pm: Stern confirmed that Ranadive's group matched the initial $525MM valuation of the Kings, adding that Seattle's increased offers didn't offend the league, according to Chris Daniels of KING5 (Twitter links).
5:32pm: Commissioner David Stern has confirmed the vote against relocation, and shared a few more tidbits. Courtesy of Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com (via Twitter)....
5:12pm: ESPN.com's Marc Stein confirms that the Board of Governors also voted to reject the sale to Hansen's Seattle group. According to Mitch Levy of KJR in Seattle, the vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento was 22-8 (Twitter link). Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee adds (via Twitter) that the meeting was "very contentious."
4:56pm: The NBA's Board of Governors has voted against relocating the Kings to Seattle, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. The league's relocation committee, a smaller group of NBA owners, had previously recommended voting down the bid to move the franchise, so the decision doesn't come as a surprise.
The relocation of the Kings was one of two issues the Board of Governors was set to vote on today. With the move to Seattle having been vetoed, the sale of 65% of the franchise to Chris Hansen's Seattle group has also presumably been shot down. That means that for now the team remains in the hands of the Maloof family, though we don't yet know if the Maloof family will continue to pursue its backup plan with the Hansen group or if the NBA will aggressively push for a majority sale to Vivek Ranadive's Sacramento group.
While the sale of the franchise required approval from three-quarters of the league's owners, relocation simply required a majority vote. That means that at least 16 owners voted against the relocation bid, and it wouldn't surprise me if the final vote was much more one-sided than that, given the 7-0 vote by the relocation committee.