In less than a week, the NBA may decide the fate of the Sacramento Kings. But before they do, the members of the league’s relocation/finance committee will meet one last time to look over the specifics.
According to multiple reports, the NBA’s joint committee will meet on Wednesday in New York. That meeting will take place behind closed-doors and won’t include any additional presentations from the Seattle and Sacramento contingents. It will happen just one day before the annual Board of Governors’ meetings, which take place April 18-19.
Following presentations by both cities on April 3rd, NBA Commissioner David Stern stated the league would have additional conversations on the Sacramento/Seattle issue before the official vote. However, a timeline on when was unsettled then. The meeting will likely be held just hours before the last game of the season for the Kings, who will host the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena.
Late last night, the Seattle group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that they voluntarily were raising their bid for the Kings. They came to terms with the Maloof family to increase their initial offer by $16.5 million to gain controlling interest in the team.
Whether the Sacramento contingent led by software magnate Vivek Ranadivé will call the Seattle group’s raise remains to be seen. Chris Kelly, one of the new investors revealed yesterday, declined to say much on the matter to CBS 13 and Cowbell Kingdom contributor Rob McAllister.
“We don’t have any particular comment on the Seattle bid,” the former Facebook executive told McAllister. “Our team will be working with the NBA. We are excited about where we stand.”
Though the Seattle group has raised their bid and already made a $30-million, non-refundable deposit to purchase the Kings, the sale and relocation of the franchise is still subject to Board of Governors’ approval. The league requires a 3/4 majority to approve the sale, meaning eight no votes would block Hansen/Ballmer’s purchase of the team. A simple majority would decide relocation.
A decision on the Kings’ future may come Friday the 19th. However, Stern hinted at the possibility of the vote being postponed if the owners were not yet comfortable.
“They’re pushing us,” Stern said on April 3rd. “And I guess all that we want to say about that is that we’re doing it as fast as we collectively can together. And it may well slide past the board meeting, but I wouldn’t expect it if it does to slide by a lot, because there’s a combined interest in having some clarity come to this situation.”