When Chris Hansen wanted to found a hedge fund, he did it in San Francisco; his hometown, Seattle, apparently lacked the caché.

But Hansen hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. And he still bleeds green and gold, even five years after the SuperSonics played their last game in the KeyArena.

Crucially, however, and crucially unlike any fans of, say, a former Los Angeles football team, the New Jersey Nets, Atlanta Thrashers, Montréal Expos, Vancouver Grizzlies, Hartford Whalers and Québec Nordiques, Hansen has both the wherewithal to buy Seattle a new basketball team and build it a new arena, an available badly-run franchise on the block, and the ability to overlook the fact that he’s doing the same thing to Sacramento that Oklahoma City did to Seattle in 2008. Or, for that matter, what Sacramento did to Kansas City in 1985.

Hansen, who runs Valiant Capital Management in San Francisco, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, have agreed to buy a majority stake in the Sacramento Kings. The deal, which will give Hansen and Ballmer a 65% stake in the team, values the Kings at $525 million.

The deal’s not done yet for the Sonics to return to Puget Sound. The mayor of Sacramento apparently has the acquiesce of NBA Commissioner David Stern—from whose pronouncements during last year’s lockout one can only conclude that owning a basketball team is little better than investing with Bernie Madoff or Sam Israel—to try to find some buyers to keep the Kings in California’s capital. Maybe Sacramento-based CalPERS is feeling frisky enough to do something stupid?

Hedge Fund Manager In Deal For Sacramento Kings [FINalternatives]
Maloofs agree on deal to sell Kings [ESPN]
CalPERS nears a record $260 billion in assets [L.A. Times]

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Comments (32)

  1. Posted by ??? | January 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    "Crucially, however, and crucially unlike any fans of"

    Wtf?

  2. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    You're not even going to attempt a to catch a predator joke?

  3. Posted by bill | January 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    yikes

  4. Posted by NakedShort | January 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    What are YOU doing here?

  5. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Have a seat.

  6. Posted by guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    What could Sacramento's mayor possibly know about basketball?

    What? He's Kevin Johnson?

    What could a basketball player possibly know about mayoring?

  7. Posted by NakedShort | January 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    go ahead and set that six pack of Smirnoff Ice and handle of Pucker on the table

  8. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    What were you planning on doing with the cat and the whipped cream?

  9. Posted by Dick | January 22, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    That sentence may be a new low point of Shazar's career. It was a good idea, using the "…x has both the wherewithal… and ability…" but offering too many examples of teams stolen (hint: nobody cares about Canada), breaking the flow of thought with an unneeded "and" and finally adding in the non sequitur "an available badly-run franchise on the block" in the middle of the sentence, spectacularly screwed up that sentence.

  10. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    "Cache": part of a French banana hammock.
    "Cachet": something Shazzer lacks.

  11. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Whoa, Shazar's back? And he changed the spelling of his first name?

  12. Posted by Drew | January 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Green and Gold! Yuch. At least keep the Kings purple.

  13. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Holy crap I just noticed that penultimate paragraph was a mega-runon and a fragment. Perhaps some rewording was in order?

    On the other hand, Shazar just made Matt look like Ernest Hemingway. So I guess that's nice.

  14. Posted by Suggs | January 22, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    San Francisco is the Dallas of the East.

  15. Posted by Put_Option | January 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Guy probably hugs his Shawn Kemp poster every night

  16. Posted by Jon Shazar | January 22, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Don't go there…

  17. Posted by I have no home | January 22, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    He's good at catching balls

  18. Posted by Guest | January 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    No way. He's definitely still rockin' NBA JAM T.E. with Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton and Detlef Schrempf… reliving the Sega dynasty.

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