Seattle and Chris Hansen Near Deal for New Arena

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 19: Fans of the former NBA franchise Seattle SuperSonics which moved and became the Oklahoma City Thunder shows support for the Miami Heat to beat the Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 19, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Vigilance is required, because four years after the SuperSonics died and the Thunder were born, the Seattle City Council has its act together and will soon approve a revised arena plan pitched by Chris Hansen, reports the Seattle Times. Hansen has long said he won't actually build the arena until he owns an NBA team, but reports by our friend Carmichael Dave have suggested the Seattle native has offered the Maloofs in excess of $400 million for the Kings in the recent past. That offer was apparently turned down. Hansen's group has since denied this report.

There are also other matters to be settled in Seattle, including a state environmental report. (I'm pretty unclear as to how the Washington environmental reviews compare to CEQA, so it's hard for me to judge how big a hurdle that will be.) I want to mention that I don't begrudge Seattle its arena: I wish Hansen had bought the team from Howard Schultz, and I wish the Sonics never left. But now that my team is at risk, I'm certainly feeling a bit sick about the prospect of the Kings becoming the new Sonics.

This is the second edge of that almighty sword we've been flailing around. If the Maloofs do eventually sell, aren't Hansen and Seattle in the driver's seat? It strikes me that we ought to be careful about what we wish for at this point.

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