They are wasting no time here…
The Seattle-based investment group that recently reached an agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings has begun taking steps toward moving the franchise back to Washington State.
The Associated Press has reported that NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Wednesday that committees have been formed to look at the proposed sale and move of the franchise.
The relocation proposal states that the team will play in Key Arena, former home to the SuperSonics, for a few years while a new area is being built.
“We have had submitted a signed agreement to have the team sold to a very strong group from Seattle,” Stern said. “We have received an application to have the team moved from Sacramento to Seattle.”
The proposed move to Seattle is no surprise to anyone. It has always been the intent of the investment group that agreed to purchase the Kings to return an NBA franchise to the city after losing the former Sonics (now Thunder) to Oklahoma City.
Sacramento Mayor, and former NBA star Kevin Johnson, has vowed to fight to keep the franchise in his city.
“My guess is it’s likely that the mayor of Sacramento will appear before the board with an alternate plan,” Stern said. “And that’s why we have a board of governors, to make difficult decisions like this one.”
“I don’t think it’s a bidding war,” Stern continued. “There’s a series of issues that are defined by our constitution that have to be considered. One of the things that our board is mandated to consider is the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for the board to consider, about the buildings, about the likelihood they will be built, about the support from the cities.”
It appears that Kevin Johnson may be fighting a losing battle. David Stern has already referred to the Seattle group that has agreed to purchase the Kings, which includes Dateline NBC host Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Baller, as “very strong.” In other words they have what matters to Stern the most…the capitol to sustain a franchise. Sorry Sacramento.