Chris Hansen's Seattle investment group officially lost a battle to bring the Sacramento Kings franchise to the Pacific Northwest as the sale was finalized on Tuesday, and Hansen went on to KJR Radio to discuss his disappointment. Perhaps his most telling comment was how surprised Hansen and his group were that the city of Sacramento led by former NBA player and mayor Kevin Johnson made a last-second push to keep the franchise.
Hansen said he thought it was a matter of where, not if, the Kings would be moving. He told KCJ: "If we'd known that there would have been such strong support to keep the team in Sacramento, we'd have approached it differently."
Hansen said he believed even the NBA initially thought the Maloof family would sell the team to a new location.
Financially, Hansen said his group would want to receive a return on its $30 million deposit made to the Maloof family, which instead sold the team to the Sacramento group after first reaching a deal with the Seattle-based group. That was before the NBA heard the Johnson-led group's pitch to keep the city in Sacramento. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported a few weeks ago that Hansen's group turned down an offer from NBA owners to cover the down payment, but he maintained he would not want to make it a legal situation -- that doesn't mean Hansen's partners won't.
Once the NBA's new TV contracts are reached, commissioner David Stern has said the league would begin considering an expansion. With that, Hansen said that his group will no longer make an effort to poach another NBA city's franchise. Hansen told the radio station that before ever agreeing to purchase another team again, he would make sure the franchise was pre-approved to move.
Most importantly, Hansen said fans in Seattle should look toward the future rather than dwelling on a failed deal. He added his group will continue to work on the Environment Impact Report process of their arena plan as they continue working toward being a viable NBA city once again.