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Manhattan - Well, that was a fun day of traveling...we started with bumping into Chuck Armstrong at the Sea-Tac airport and got his take on the new television deal, plus his thoughts on if the team is actually for sale. Then I hopped on a plane and landed in NYC at about 6:30 eastern time and unfortunately missed out on the news that San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt made when he said that expansion has not been ruled out and then NBA commissioner David Stern said a decision on the future of the Kings may not come until May.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times was there and filed this quick blog post with comments from Holt and Stern.
Stern, however, seemed to contradict Holt, because he told reporters that were present that there "are no current plans to expand".
In addition, Stern said that there will be another meeting of the Board of Governors for it to take a vote, and both groups get a chance to talk.
Another piece of interesting news is that, according to Stern, the Sacramento group is willing to put down the same $30 million dollar down payment as Seattle.
However, in this report from the Sacramento Bee, their sources say in the Sacramento's bid that was delivered last night, which was non-binding, did not include a $30 million dollar deposit, BUT does say that they may put up a form of a deposit at some time, but no guarantees that it would be $30 million.
Under the offer that the Sacramento group presented to the Maloofs it would force them to end their agreement with Hansen before they would negotiate a binding offer.
In a letter to the NBA, the Maloofs said they still want a deal with the Hansen group and they want the NBA Board of Governors to vote as soon as possible.
However, based on what Stern told reporters today, an end is not in sight for this on-going saga.
Honestly, I'm not really sure what to make of all of this. Obviously if you are on the side of Sacramento you are ecstatic that the commissioner is doing everything in his power, in fact, over stepping his power by trying to keep your team in Sacramento. Makes you wonder why 41 years of history didn't mean that much to him because some out of touch politician didn't bow down to him.
But, what is clear, the Sacramento group does not have their ducks in a row, nor do they have the money to compete with Seattle's group. Fair or unfair, the offer from Hansen is better, more detailed, and further along. That alone should make it a pretty simple decision for the league, unfortunately, that's not the case.
If you come at this from our perspective, you are no doubt frustrated by the whole process. Hansen has done everything the right way and has shied away from publicly staking claim of the Kings - that humility should have been rewarded, instead, Stern is using Seattle on a couple of fronts.
Even though he denies expansion, it's clear listening to Holt today that expansion has been discussed and it's more of a topic than anyone has let on. But it seems that there is a scenario where the league is angling for expansion for one of the teams. Since he has taken Hansen down this far, he has driven up the price for the Kings and one of these groups is going to severely overpay for the Kings. If one of these groups gets left out of grossly overpaying, than that "loser" will get the pleasure over overpaying for an expansion team. I guess if both cities end up with what they want, than perhaps it's all square in the end.
But, Seattle had their hearts ripped out five years ago and now Stern is ripping that heart out again, and not only stomping on it, but he's pouring salt and booze on it.