Update: Mark Mastrov has indeed made an offer to the NBA that Yahoo is reporting to be “slightly less” than the offer made by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer of the Seattle SuperSonics group.
With Mastrov’s bid in, the two sides will now wait for the NBA Board of Governors to meet on April 18-19th to make a decision.
Seattle’s bid is considered to be the favorite seeing how the monetary value is greater both in the price being offered for the franchise and the potential revenue that would be generated by moving the team to the 12th largest TV market. Sacramento is the 20th.
Expect both sides to make a bid on the 7% share of the team that is being sold in bankruptcy court. It’s not clear if the new owners of this share will be allowed to make a “right of first refusal” offer and it shouldn’t be a surprise if more legal battles come before a resolution can be found.
I’ll start of by saying that I respect Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson tremendously for his role in trying to prevent the Kings from moving. If the Seattle government had put up half of this kind of effort we wouldn’t be having this debate and we’d be watching Kevin Durant star for the SuperSonics.
I however do not respect Johnson for his inability to share the entire picture with when it comes to the situation at hand. Johnson paints Seattle as a city incapable of hosting an NBA franchise and makes claims that Sacramento is gods gift to the NBA. If a team leaves the Sacramento market the NBA will cease to be a profitable business. Or so Mayor Johnson would like you to think.
I understand that the people of Sac-town are angry with us trying to take their team. If it wasn’t us, it’d be some other city. Kansas City and Las Vegas are just a few of the towns that have been desperate for an NBA team.
What I don’t understand is the attacks coming out of Sacramento.
…We are still very much in this game,” Johnson said in a speech. “I hope Seattle gets a team someday. Let me be crystal clear: It’s not going to be this team. Not our team. No way.” – Johnson
But let’s get down to the real business before I get myself into too much trouble.
Johnson held his State of the City presser and the topic everyone was waiting for was for the big reveal of the “whales” the media has hyped. No big surprises were revealed as the two men who were rumored as far as a few weeks back were in fact the whales.
Mark Mastrov, the 24/7 fitness franchise owner is to be the principal owner of the Kings and billionaire Ron Burkle will be the man behind getting a new arena built in downtown Sacramento.
Mastrov is worth ~ $350 million so it’s unclear how he alone could make a competitive offer for the franchise. Burkle hasn’t been identified as a member of the group attempting to buy the Kings – although it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
The offer that Mastrov and company do make, which is rumored to be just under what the Seattle team has made, will have to be to the NBA. The Maloofs can’t legally field any offers because they have already agreed to sell the team to the Hansen/Ballmer group.
The NBA Board of Governors will now rule on the sale and/or decide what to do with any bid made by the Sacramento investors. Although Johnson, Mastrov and Burkle are making every attempt to keep the team from relocating and fighting harder than Seattle ever did to keep their team, it seems like it’s still a losing battle.