(CBS Seattle/AP) — NBA owners voted 22-8 to keep the Kings in Sacramento, rejecting efforts by Chris Hansen to move the team to Seattle.
“The appropriate outcome was to keep the team in Sacramento,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said at a press conference Wednesday, putting and end to nearly four months of speculation and waiting. Hansen’s investment group had offered $625 million to buy the team from the Maloofs.
Hansen released a statement to “the Sonics faithful” on the website sonicsarena.com:
“While we are obviously extremely disappointed with today’s relocation vote and truly believe we put forth both a significantly better offer and Arena plan, we do thank the league and the owners for their time and consideration and look forward to hearing back on our agreement to join the Maloofs as Limited Partners in the Kings.
But most of all I would like to thank everyone in Seattle who has been a part of our effort and supported our cause. Words simply can’t express how much your support has meant to me personally and to our City. I truly believe we did everything possible to put our best foot forward in this process and you all should be proud and hold your heads high today.
Our day will come…and when it does it will just be that much sweeter for the struggle.
I love you Seattle!”
“I share the disappointment of Sonics fans about today’s vote. But we are in this for the long haul,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said. “The memorandum of understanding we have with Chris Hansen is for five years, and we will continue working to bring the NBA back to Seattle.”
There may be a small hope for Sonics fans. NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver suggested expansion might be an option in the future.
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