Chris Hansen on Friday announced his new bid for the Sacramento Kings is $625 million, up from $550 million, which was up from $525 million. (My favorite part as an obvious Sacramento partisan: in the announcement, Hansen says his group "voluntarily" increased the bid. Oh, how generous! It couldn't possibly have anything to do with your bid being in its death throes, now could it?)
There are any number of reasons for Hansen to do this. He could think owners will second-guess the committee's recommendation. He could think it will embolden the Maloofs to refuse to sell for a lower price to Sacramento, or even sue on anti-trust grounds. Or he could think the massive number being thrown out will be so glittery for team owners that they'll have no choice but to fall all over themselves to add him and Steve Ballmer to their club.
But consider the other ramification: owners in small markets who may be selling their team soon know this dude is freaking crazy and will spend a whole lot of money to get a team. And if he doesn't get the Kings, he could be offering these wild sums for their teams.
Consider this: if the NBA ignores this hysteric ploy and rejects relocation formally on Wednesday, doesn't Hansen have to come in at $625 million the next time he tries to poach a team? Can he go to Herb Kohl in a few years, assuming a new Bucks arena deal isn't done, and offer $450 million or $525 million? I think Kohl would try to get that $625 million now. Same goes for Glen Taylor in Minnesota.
If the NBA accepts Hansen's bid and Sacramento doesn't match, there's no guarantee the next relocation-ready small market team gets offered $625 million. Because the only guy crazy enough to offer $625 million would already have a team! If you keep him from getting a team, chances are he remains insane enough to go after another. So for owners of teams considered to be potential future Hansen targets, it may be in their best interest to keep Hansen on the prowl.
That's all a sneaky argument for other owners concerned only about team values, too. How many more teams can we get this guy to bid crazy amounts for? Can we get him to raise the value of the Hawks by $200 million? The Bucks and Wolves? The Raptors? He's already raised the value of the Kings to $525 million from about $300 million if we reject relocation and force the Maloofs to take the local deal. How much more can we milk this man possessed? Arguably, there's much higher potential for leaguewide value increases by rejecting Hansen now and watching him go after another team.
We don't know what the NBA's going to do. David Stern could offer a hint as to what he thinks about this move in the next couple days, or we could go into Wednesday with no clue. Just another hill on the roller coaster that is this saga.
(All that said: Herb Kohl and Glen Taylor are decent men who would never do to their cities what the Maloofs are doing to Sacramento.)