Hedge Fund Manager Will Not Be Denied In His Quest To Move The Sacramento Kings To Seattle, Until The NBA Formally Denies Him Later This Month


Chris Hansen has a dream.

A Seattle hedge fund manager whose bid to move basketball's Sacramento Kings to the Pacific Northwest city was rejected by a committee of NBA owners vowed on Tuesday to push forward with efforts to buy the team. A day earlier, the National Basketball Association's relocation committee unanimously recommended against approving a request by Chris Hansen and partners, who include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, to move the Kings from Sacramento, California, to Seattle. The recommendation was widely seen as a victory for the California state capital, whose mayor - himself a former NBA player - led a hastily assembled team of investors backing a rival bid for the team. But the champagne corks had barely finished popping in Sacramento when Hansen, in a statement posted on his website, vowed to fight on. Unlike the group led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Hansen has a signed agreement to purchase the team from its majority owners, the Maloof family, in a deal worth about $357.5 million. "We remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through," Hansen wrote. We "have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento Group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow."