I have no way to justify that title, I really don’t. You don’t have to say anything, I’ll go now.
So, last week (I believe the very last day of February), Kevin Johnson, Sacramento Mayor, introduced his big, highfalutin plan to save the Kings. Apparently, the guy who runs 24-Hour Fitness (which, can I just say, is a TERRIBLE gym? Why does it always stink of sweat and mold? With pubes in the locker room as far as the eye can see! But, I digress …), who is worth a mere $350 million, is somehow going to make an offer to buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. There’s another, even richer guy, who is going to pony up some hundreds of millions to build an arena.
Ostensibly, we are to believe that Kevin Johnson and his crew were caught with their pants down when the Maloofs revealed they were selling to the Hansen Group, and that all of this has been accomplished in complete scramble mode. Really? You’re telling me that Kevin Johnson couldn’t have seen this coming? Couldn’t have had these discussions weeks in advance? Couldn’t have at least had the broad strokes in place ahead of time?
But, whatever. They’ve got this plan, it was presented to the NBA. Then, last night, I read on Twitter that David Stern is in Oakland and is holding an impromptu press conference. Considering he JUST gave his big presser at the All Star Break not too long ago, this felt like odd timing. Of course, he wouldn’t address the media unless he had something new to say. From the Sacbee:
“The counter bid has got very strong financial people behind it, but it is not quite there in comparison to the Seattle bid,” Stern said. “There is a substantial variance.”
So there you have it. Kevin Johnson’s group made a bid, but it wasn’t anywhere NEAR Hansen’s bid in terms of dollars. Therefore, Stern made it abundantly clear: make your bid bigger, or lose the Kings forever.
There’s no doubt about it, Stern is starting a bidding war. Read to the end of that article! It goes on to mention the minority Kings owner who has his own plot to buy the majority shares! He’s willingly inviting him to join the circus, to undermine Seattle’s opportunity to get back in the NBA business.
AND, not only that, but essentially the agreement and signed deal we have in place with the Maloofs is meaningless, because it’s not up to anyone else but the Board of Governors where a team plays its games. Well, we kind of knew that, I suppose, since they have to approve a sale. But, by reiterating that fact, and bringing in NBA bylaws into the mix, Stern is saying to all of those Seattle-backers: Slow your fucking roll! This is not a done deal, not by a damn sight.
Look, if you’re a Seattle fan and a Sonics fan, if you weren’t worried before, you should be now. He’s essentially saying, “Look, whoever wants this thing: give us the most money.” The Hansen Group is at a particular disadvantage because everyone KNOWS what their offer was. The key element will be: will they choose to increase their offer? Or, will that undermine what they feel is already a strong bid, and a strong position to have, having already signed the paperwork to buy the team and everything.
My hunch is: the Hansen offer remains as is, and all the lobbying in the world won’t do a lick of good. Ultimately, the owners are going to vote for what gives them the most money, period. And, in the end, it’s going to mean the Kings stay in Sacramento.
Because how could this POSSIBLY play out in our favor? First of all, they pretty much know EXACTLY what it’s going to take to win this thing: increase your offer for the team. I have no idea what their offer is now, but they do, and they have to know how many millions of dollars they’re off by compared to the Hansen deal. Bridge that gap, and you’ve got yourselves a team. The only way they DON’T win this thing is if they truly weren’t serious about keeping the Kings in the first place. Which, I wouldn’t throw out with the bathwater, but it sounds like a long shot. There are ways for politicians to fake caring about the NBA. To pretend they’re doing “all they can do” to keep a team in a particular city. And then, when the smallest of speedbumps approaches, they throw up their hands and say, “Welp! We tried!” Believe me, we had nothing BUT those types of politicians in Seattle in 2008 and that’s why we’re in this mess in the first fucking place.
But, Kevin Johnson and his comrades have never seemed more serious about winning this thing. Seemingly, it’s his only platform as a politician, which simultaneously warms my heart and leaves me feeling empty inside, because that shit would NEVER fly in Seattle.
Oh, and don’t forget: now the rest of the world is invited to participate in this fucking spelling bee. Come one, come all! Bid on this fantastic NBA organization, slightly used! $341 million, or best (higher) offer!
Of note is that there will be an April 3rd preliminary meeting between Stern and a few owners to go over all the bids. I assume this means: they pick the one they like best, then vote on it at the real Board of Governors meeting April 18th and 19th. Of course, they still have to vote on whether to accept the Hansen bid at those meetings on the 18th & 19th, but if they decide on the 3rd that they like the Kevin Johnson bid better, we will all know how they’ll vote two weeks later.
This is just a shitshow of the highest order. Isn’t there some number of millions of dollars we could BRIBE the Board of Governors to just give us an expansion team? I mean, they’ve been saying all along that the reason they won’t expand the NBA is because the owners don’t want to give up their share of the pie. Well, fill in those shares with a tasty bribe and you’ve essentially solved all the problems, right?
God damn it, Seattle DESERVES a team you savages! DO THE RIGHT THING!