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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5 Comments

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I have coined a new term to summarize this situation:

"Taking a stern."

Example:
I ate so much at McDonald's for lunch that I had to run to the restroom before I sterned my pants.

Well,
1) They should have never moved the Seattle Supersonics to begin with,
2) I know it's taking away from Sacramento's fans and their fanbase but California has too many basketball teams as it is,
3) I like the move; it spices things up in the NBA and will bring back a franchise that had some great players.

I don't think the NBA/Stern realizes the damage it did yesterday. The Sonics NEVER should have been moved in 2008, not after 41 YEARS of support. Seattle was never given an opportunity to cobble together local ownership then as Sacramento was now. Very hypocritical of Stern. What likely killed Ballmer and Hansen was the privately-funded arena component - the NBA does love suckling off the taxpayer teat. And Seattle taxpayers will never publically fund another arena. An expansion team could have simply been awarded to solve this whole mess. But no, the NBA only wants to be open to the possibility at some unknown point in the future to expansion.

The end result after this latest debacle? Utterly toxic fan base in Seattle that will likely never, ever welcome back the NBA. The Seattle market will now give the NBA the middle finger from here on out.

So you take it out on the fan base in Sacramento? Hmm great way to prevent "utterly toxic fan bases"

By the way, California is massive. The only two real teams that exist here are the Lakers and the Kings. And do you realize how many miles apart they are from each other? I live in California and I think I've been to LA 5 times tops because it's so far away. It's like traveling across half the country for me. And I live south of Sacramento. It's impossible to feel as if we're one state because SoCal has so little in common with us in NorCal.

Anyways I'm glad a decision was made, maybe I can finally stop hearing about the Kings in the news >.>