In the wake of the NBA relocation committee's recommendation not to allow the Kings to relocate to Seattle, Chris Hansen has responded. Hansen, the head of the Seattle investment group that reached an agreement to buy the Kings from the Maloofs family, issued a statement on SonicsArena.com late last night, which read in part:
"While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through. As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the US, have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid Arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento Group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow. As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governor’s Meeting in Mid-May."
Despite Hansen's apparent confidence, multiple league sources were surprised by his response, according to Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com (Twitter link), who was told by one source that Hansen is "fighting for expansion at best, flailing at worst." Sam Amick of USA Today expresses similar thoughts (Twitter links), noting that no one on the NBA or Sacramento side seems concerned with Hansen's reaction, and that the rest of the process is being characterized as a "mere formality."
The NBA's Board of Governors figures to formally vote on the relocation of the Kings franchise and the sale to the Hansen-led group on May 13th. Barring a huge surprise, the league's owners are expected to follow the recommendation made yesterday by a smaller group of owners.