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Dallas- It was a somewhat slow and uneventful day in Dallas, however things picked up as the day wore on.
On the eve of when NBA owners will meet and are expected to take a vote on relocation and sale of the Sacramento Kings, it still seems unclear to what direction the NBA will go in.
It was reported on Monday, after the finance and relocation committee met, that they would offer the same recommendation as before, which was to decline relocation of the Kings to Seattle.
Again, the day was a little slow in the beginning, until I looked up from my computer.
As I was sitting in the hotel lobby, I ran into Kings owner George Maloof. Maloof said he's "100 percent behind Chris" and his family is eager for this process to be over.
Maloof went on to say that he hopes that the committee agrees to the sale and relocation to the Hansen group.
When I asked him directly about what would happen if the NBA turns down Hansen, and whether or not he would agree to a deal with the local Sacramento group? Maloof said his agreement with Hansen prevents him from answering that question and he's committed to them.
One could speculate that he could have come out and said they refuse to sell to the Ranadive group, but he chose not to be so definitive with his position. Folks in Sacramento and Seattle will most likely view that differently.
My observation of Maloof is that he looked very tired and looked like a man who was ready for this saga to be over. Furthermore, he looked like, in my opinion, a man that had a defeated look on his face.
Anyways, what we know about tomorrow is that the NBA owners will start meeting at 1pm central time, so 11am in Seattle. It's expected that they will first take a vote on relocation, which is expected to be rejected based on the recommendation. After the relocation vote, the owners will allegedly vote on the sale of the Kings to the Hansen/Ballmer group.
What we are unaware at this point is how long those meetings will take place and when a press conference will be held. Once we know the exact time, we'll pass it along and of course the press conference will air on Sports Radio KJR.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke to reporters in Sacramento before he boarded a plane to Dallas and he once again reiterated that he feels the city has done enough to retain the team. Johnson said he and Vivek Ranadive will speak in front of the owners tomorrow.
Johnson was also asked about whether or not the Sacramento group had placed 100 percent of their purchase offer to the Maloof's into an escrow account. Johnson said, “They told us last week we need to have 50 percent in escrow and now we are told we needed to have 100 percent in escrow, you may as well make an assumption on your own.”
Johnson also spoke to reporters in Dallas once he arrived and said he was very confident in tomorrow's vote.
"Our hope is that we get a favorable outcome on both relocation and our ownership group being approved."
Once again, Johnson talked about whether or not the Sacramento group had put in the full 100 percent of the $341 million purchase offer into an escrow account and once again he was vague.
"If the NBA asked them to put in 100%, I think you have to read between the lines."
When pressed for clarification, Johnson said ,"I'm going to avoid that question."
Johnson was also asked to clarify his comments, in which he assessed blame to Sonics fans back in 2008 for losing their team.
"In context I said if I were them I would be fighting like heck and crazy and at some point you gotta take a high road if there is a final decision. Only they can determine when that is. I don't want infringe on their play calling."
Peter McLoughlin, who is the President of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, who is representing Blazers owner Paul Allen, stopped by and spoke for a few brief moments. McLoughlin said "I don't know how it will play out" in regards to Wednesdays vote.
McLoughlin was asked which way Allen is leaning and he was non-committal of his vote. However, when I caught up with McLoughlin last month in New York City, he told me that he didn't see a scenario where Allen would vote against Hansen and Ballmer.
McLoughlin was asked if he thinks its possible that both cities leave Dallas happy, "I don't know."
So, where do we stand? Honestly, I don't know. And, I know that's not the answer many of you want to hear, but I truly have no idea how this will end up. I will tell you this, tomorrow will be an insanely crazy day. I'll be downstairs of the hotel bringing you the very latest. Again, the meetings start tomorrow at 11am pacific, but the fun will start much earlier!
(Sports Network) - The Maloof family is reportedly threatening not to sell the Kings to the group that wants to keep the team in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday that the Maloofs have made a backup deal to sell a minority share of the Kings to Seattle investors Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer in case the owners reject the bid to move the team to Seattle.
ESPN.com, which broke the story, said the Maloofs would sell 20 percent of the team to Hansen and Ballmer for $125 million. The plan would allow the Maloofs to continue to operate the franchise.
In addition, the new proposal includes a relocation fee of $115 million.
The NBA Board of Governors is expected to decide on the Kings' fate next week at a meeting in Dallas.
Seattle lost its NBA franchise to Oklahoma City in 2008.
05/11 21:54:42 ET
Seattle - The NBA relocation and finance committee recommended today that the Sacramento Kings not be moved to Seattle and remain in Sacramento.
In their official release from the league today:
The NBA announced today that the league’s Relocation Committee has unanimously recommended that the NBA Board of Governors deny the application of the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle. The Board will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on this matter.
Minutes after the news broke, the Mayor of Seattle, Mike McGinn released the following statement:
“I’m proud of how Sonics fans have rallied together to help Seattle get a team. We’re going to stay focused on our job: making sure Seattle remains in a position to get a team when the opportunity presents itself.”
Our morning show host, Mitch Levy, @KJRMitch on twitter, had the following conversation with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Just got off the phone with Steve Ballmer.He is "horribly, horribly disappointed" in this news.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
Steve was incredibly emotional on the phone.He and the group will continue their communication w/Stern and the NBA.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
Ballmer said that he and Chris Hansen and the rest of the group will put their heads together and see if there is a reasonable next step.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
Ballmer told me that he can't imagine that the city of Seattle will ever have a stronger case and a better situation to acquire a team.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
Ballmer displayed zero optimism expansion will be offered. Said that he just doesn't think the NBA will share the revenue pie w/more teams.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
In the midst of his "venting" on the phone, Ballmer did say he feels terrible for Seattle NBA fans for having their hopes dashed again.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
He also repeated that Chris Hansen has done an "unbelievable job" and couldn't possibly put Seattle in a stronger position.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
Assuming that relocation is rejected by the full BOG, Ballmer said that our group has the right to ask for the NBA to go ahead...— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
...with the purchase vote.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) April 29, 2013
The Statement from the NBA:
"NEW YORK -- The NBA announced today that the league's Relocation Committee has unanimously recommended that the NBA Board of Governors deny the application of the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle. The Board will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on this matter."
Statement from Chris Hansen:
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.
When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ―Muhammad Ali
By Sports Radio KJR
The recommendation vote that was supposed to take place on either Thursday or Friday to determine the future of the Sacramento Kings has been delayed until Monday.
The 12 owners will meet via conference call and make a recommendation at that time. After they wait a required seven business days, the NBA Board of Governors can then take a vote, which would be May 8, at the earliest - they don't necessarily have to take a vote on that day.
At their annual BOG meetings, commissioner David Stern said a recommendation would be delivered today or Friday, but obviously that time outline has changed....again.