The Kings saga got a bit messier on Friday when Seattle investor Chris Hansen announced publicly that he would increase his offer for the Sacramento franchise by $25 million to $550 million. This means that, if Seattle wins the NBA's approval on the purchase, an additional $16 million would go into the Maloofs' pockets. (Yes, somehow the Maloofs keep winning.)
Sacramento investors who have said they'll match the $525 million valuation have not publicly commented on the increased bid. But The Bee's dream team did get sources close to the bid to say that it's unlikely they'll keep chasing Hansen upward. Why?
Those close to the Sacramento bid brushed aside the new offer, with a source close to the situation saying the added $25 million from Hansen "isn't that much money in the grand scheme of things."
A previous version of the story posted on Saturday had a source calling the bid increase "P-A-N-I-C." It's hard to argue otherwise. No one voluntarily gives out an extra $16 million without a reason. At some level, in some way, Hansen feels threatened by Sacramento's work and potential to get the team.
That would also explain why Seattle's presentation to the owners' committee seemingly centered around the trouble with Sacramento as a market, as Ian Thomsen wrote in the piece debunked by Akis Saturday. This is the funny part: like David Stern and NBA owners don't know Sacramento. Like they need an education from Chris Hansen. Someone else spent a presentation to the Board of Governors tearing down Sacramento: the Maloofs. And Stern, in the wake of that, delivered perhaps his most acerbic, smoldering press conference ever. Why spend so much time ripping Sacramento as a market? Because you're afraid.
And he should be. Hansen thought he had it sewn up. He doesn't. All of these moves are in response to that.