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Hedge Fund Manager Will Get Chance to Fulfill Dream of Spending Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Badly

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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32 Responses to “Hedge Fund Manager Will Get Chance to Fulfill Dream of Spending Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Badly”

  1. ??? says:

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

    Wtf?

    • Dick says:

      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.

      • Guest says:

        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.

  2. Guest says:

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

  3. guest says:

    What could Sacramento's mayor possibly know about basketball?

    What? He's Kevin Johnson?

    What could a basketball player possibly know about mayoring?

  4. Guest says:

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

  5. Guest says:

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

  6. Drew says:

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

  7. Suggs says:

    San Francisco is the Dallas of the East.

  8. Put_Option says:

    Guy probably hugs his Shawn Kemp poster every night

    • Guest says:

      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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