The deal was formally announced yesterday. Gavin Maloof, Chris Hansen and the NBA all issued official statements on the pending sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based ownership group.
Although an agreement is in place, Sam Amick of USA Today reports that it doesn’t mean the Maloofs can’t change their minds and sell to local owners in Sacramento.
While Hansen deemed the deal “binding” in his statement on Monday, Stern has already made it clear to Sacramento mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson will have a chance to present a counter-offer to the Board of Governors, though the timing is not yet known. What’s more, a person with knowledge of the Maloofs’ situation told USA TODAY Sports that it remains possible – depending on how the NBA handles the process going forward – they could sell to a Sacramento-based group if a competitive offer materialized. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
Amick followed up that report with another twist in this saga. State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg issued a letter to the California Department of General Services questioning the business dealings of Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer in the golden state.
With a net worth that is reportedly $15.7 billion and the recent revelation that he appears to be all in when it comes to bringing the Sonics back to Seattle, Ballmer finds himself in these political crosshairs because of his extensive business dealings in California and, specifically, the epicenter of the technology industry: Silicon Valley in Northern California.
This is not the first time Steinberg has jumped into the fray of Sacramento’s fight to keep the Kings. In 2011, he introduced legislation that would have forced the team to repay the city’s loan if it moved to Anaheim.
You can read the California senator’s letter in its entirety over at USA Today.