Relocation deal for NBA team involving Microsoft CEO effectively crushed


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer likely won't get his dream of an NBA team in Seattle anytime soon.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wanted an NBA team back in Seattle, but it appears his wish won't get granted anytime soon.

Ballmer was a key player in a deal that would have relocated the Sacramento Kings to the Washington city, but a recent vote by the league's team owners has effectively killed the proposed deal. Team owners voted 22-8 to not sell the team to Ballmer's group on Wednesday, largely because of the relocation. Ballmer's investment team, which was led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, would still technically have the option of buying the team, but it's highly unlikely a deal would take place now that the relocation – the key reason the potential owners wanted the Kings – has been barred.

Instead, the Kings will now likely be sold by its current owners to a separate group that wants to keep the team in Sacramento, although that group offered far less money than Ballmer's team.

The Microsoft chief executive's involvement in the proposed deal drew the ire of a local politician, California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who quested why Ballmer would want to bring the Kings to Seattle when the state of California has many business deals with Microsoft.

"If [the potential move is] true," Steinberg wrote, "I am troubled that a company and a CEO that has for so long enjoyed a prosperous and beneficial working relationship with the State of California and its taxpayers would blatantly engage in activities which are clearly and measurably detrimental to our State's job and revenue base – not to mention use profits earned through business with our State to appropriate a California-based asset."

Microsoft later responded to Steinberg by saying Ballmer wasn't acting on behalf of the company but rather as a private citizen.

Source: NBA | Image via Microsoft

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