A few extended thoughts on the Kings staying in Sacramento:
* The single greatest ownership crisis of David Stern's 30-year tenure ends. The NBA has had drama elsewhere, recently in Atlanta and in the past with the Clippers and Cavaliers. But the Maloofs had such a high Frank McCourt potential quotient that this whole arms race over the past three years has been expensive, exhausting and unstable. The Maloofs tried to move the team to Anaheim, Virginia Beach and Seattle, and had preliminary talks with Las Vegas ... IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. Having a major public subsidy in place in Sacramento was a major reason Stern continued to support the local efforts to keep the Kings in town; it appears to have bore fruit.
Of course, the crisis isn't totally over until the Maloofs hand the keys to the building over to Vivek Ranadivé. Reports suggest it was George Maloof who requested the deal get done in the next 24-48 hours.
Speaking of which ...
* The idea that Stern or Sacramento has somehow screwed the Maloofs out of $65 million -- the difference between the final Hansen bid and the Ranadivé bid -- is just not true. Consider this: if Sacramento didn't jump into the fray and Stern didn't draw out the process, Hansen would never have increased his bid in the first place. The Seattle group boosted their valuation by $25 million on the eve of the relocation committee vote as it appeared Sacramento had gained momentum. After that unanimous vote in support of Sacramento, Hansen boosted the valuation another $75 million. The Maloofs initially agreed to sell for a $525 million valuation. Sacramento's success in slowing the sale and reversing momentum got Hansen to boost his bid in the first place. If Sacramento didn't step up and pose a threat to Hansen, he never would have increased the bid. So on this note, the Maloofs really should not be getting more than the $525 million valuation.
* It's a testament to Hansen and his team that he got this far and got a relatively close vote. Remember, he got this far into the game working with the Maloofs. Every move from Hansen was calculated, every leak was spun carefully and expertly. He's good at this. The $30 million deposit, the sparse public statements, the bid increases, the timely release of designs -- against most other cities, he would have won this battle. But Stern wasn't going to lose a viable Sacramento, and Sacramento made sure it was seen as totally viable, because it is.
* Stern opened up his press conference by announcing he'd need to keep it short because he needs to leave for a game in Oklahoma City. This was immediately seen as a dig at Seattle. I both totally understand why Seattle reacted angrily to that comment and really believe that Stern didn't mean to dig at them. He can be a supreme knifer, but I don't think he would purposely do that. I think he was tired and not prepared to open up with small talk. But of course I couldn't begrudge Seattle for being upset all the same. It was quite unfortunate.
* About an hour after the vote, George Maloof got spooked by the hovering media and retreated into a luggage closet. He stayed in there a substantial amount of time, taking a call and using it as an impromptu meeting space before Ranadivé's PR handler rescued him. This world is an amazing place.
* Maloof was not so reluctant to speak to the press on Tuesday night. In fact, he was said to be prowling the lobby for reporters. He spoke to Sacramento TV reporter Bryan May and unleashed an instant meme.
When I asked him how he thinks tomorrow's meetings will go, he said quick. "It's going to be a lot to talk about, bap, bap, bap."— Bryan May (@BMayNews10) May 14, 2013
"Bap bap bap" is a thing. Expect merchandise.
* If the Maloofs do indeed sell the team to Vivek, it won't just be the home opener that is sold out next season. (Sacramento has sold out every home opener since arriving in 1985, by the way.) It could be the entire season. And the new arena won't open for a couple of years. Sacramento has been waiting for a team they can root for since, like, 2006. (That's when the Maloofs' star exploded locally.) There will be a mad rush to be a part of the new era, and you could see attendance in Sacramento go from bottom of the league to top 10, even without an elite team.
* Sacramento did it, you guys. Sacrafreakingmento!