In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, NBA Commissioner David Stern said investor Chris Hansen was treated fairly during his failed attempt to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle.
“It seemed likely to us and to others that if Seattle’s deal held and there was no ownership group, no critical path to a new arena in Sacramento, the Board would not keep the team in Sacramento,” Stern told WSJ’s Lee Hawkins. “But then in the course of the deliberations of the committee, not by virtue of any intervention, there was an ownership group that put up money … the mayor of Sacramento came up with this plan for some enormous community-wide effort to get partners to provide certain subsidies to locate a spot. And so by the time the committee voted, it was clear that there was an alternate site which was doable in Sacramento.”
Hansen gave the Maloof family a $30 million non-refundable deposit for the right to purchase 65 percent of the Kings for $358 million. However, the NBA voted against moving the team to Seattle and blocked the sale to Hansen.
Stern said Hansen’s deposit has not been returned.
When asked if Hansen and his investment group were treated fairly, Stern said: “Without question. It wasn’t a great outcome for them, but everybody knows what the process is under Article 7 of our constitution for relocation.”