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Monday, April 29, 2013

NBA Committee Rejects Hansen Bid to Purchase Sacramento Kings

Posted by on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Potentially bad news for Mike McGinn's reelection hopes:

A committee of NBA owners voted unanimously today to block the pending sale and relocation of the Sacramento Kings, likely ensuring that the team will stay put.

The NBA confirmed that its combined relocation and finance advisory committee, composed of 12 owners, voted down the Maloof family's proposed sale of the Kings to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who planned to move the team to Seattle.

The rest of the owners are expected to follow the recommendation of the committee, which pretty much means the Kings are staying put. Because obviously, Sacramento is a much, much better city than Seattle, and its fans clearly deserve more respect than ours.

That said, I suppose it's still possible that the unanimous decision was aided by an unspoken decision to grant Seattle an expansion team. Otherwise, I think the NBA can pretty much go fuck itself as far as folks here are concerned.


Comments (56) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Bennett is chairman of the NBA's relocation committee - he hates Seattle and therefore. . .
Posted by hydrus on April 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
I'm glad. The last thing we needed was another goddamn sports arena.
Posted by The CHZA on April 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 3
I voted "yes" but so should everyone who's spent the months and years bemoaning our lack of a basketball team. Perhaps we should focus on the teams we have before bringing another underperforming team into town.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 29, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
@ 2 False

@ 3 Only under performing team is the M's and they should be .500 this year.
Posted by Seattle14 on April 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
One way or another, the bill would have gone to the taxpayers. These rich guys have a way of making everybody but themselves pay in the end.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on April 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Sacramento is a State Capitol, It's connected to the Bay Area by rail, and it has a river, Seattle has none of those things, plus its further from Oakland, so yeah I sort of have to agree with the NBA
Posted by Merchant Seaman on April 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Quick contact Councilman Conlin- he needs to throw a Happiness Party ASAP. That's Life.
Posted by Gray Panther on April 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 8
This is going to radicalize a lot of Seattlelites into a Jihad against the NBA.
Posted by Gern Blanston on April 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Maybe this is good for McGinn. I feel a lot better about McGinn if the stadium boondoggle is not happening. Were sports fans really going to vote for McGinn anyway?
Posted by spock on April 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Stewie Griffin 10
Looks like we're going to dodge another multimillion dollar tax bill that Hansen would have found away to screw Seattle with.

Now can we focus on important things like transit and affordable housing? And instead of wanting to watch sports on your asses why don't you go out and play some sports instead?
Posted by Stewie Griffin on April 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
I voted for 3. Hell Yes!
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
You'll get your team. Rich guys always get what they want. There will be an expansion team here within a year or two, and we will pay for it. I'll bet Hansen's lawyers are restructuring the deal right this minute.
Posted by Fnarf on April 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
@8: sure, that's real radical: "I am dissatisfied because I am not able to consume the sporting event of my choice!"
Posted by spock on April 29, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
I guess Hansen isn't getting his $30 million deposit back.
Posted by dirge on April 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
theophrastus 15
so you really think it comes down to yet-more bread and circuses for McGinn to be reelected? well... you might be right.
Posted by theophrastus on April 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 16
You people crack me up. You've been against this all along. Now that you're told you can't have it, you're all pissed. What a bunch of losers.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
chinaski 17
Mony beats soul every time; in the end Hansen will get his team and on our dime. But for the moment: SUCK IT!
Posted by chinaski on April 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
It's not about whether Sac or Seattle is a better city. It's about the fact that the Kings have been in Sac for going on 20 years now and have a big fan base there and as Sac doesn't have an NFL, NHL or MLB team there is less potential dilution. Stop acting butthurt as though this decision is some sort of slam against Seattle.
Posted by ziptag on April 29, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 19
Publicly-funded price supports for wickedly overpriced tattoo queens delayed/denied! Waaaaaaaaaaah!
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on April 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 20
Well, that's too bad. I hope Our Fnarf is right and we get an expansion team. People like basketball, it gives bartenders and waiters money. I just think it should be at the Coliseum. We don't need a new arena.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on April 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 21
Seriously, Goldy, moaning about how much respect Seattle fans get? This is business. If Seattle wants respect, Seattle should buy its own team with its own money. Getting sucked into one of these public-private boondoggles guarantees that the voters and taxpayers will be treated like the cheap whores that they are. Respect is for owners, not suckers.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
DOUG. 22
David Stern is a prick. Once his stench fades from the NBA, I might be willing to watch a game again.

I expect an expansion team in two years, perhaps coupled with one in Vancouver.
Posted by DOUG. on April 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
SPG 23
The NBA is dead to me.
Posted by SPG on April 29, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 24
The NBA is undead to me.

Get the shovel.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Yes, the NBA should go fuck itself, but no more so than it should have anyways. But Seattlites who supported the NBA thing should also go fuck themselves.
Posted by ctmcmull on April 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Can we just tell the NBA to get fucked and NOT have an expansion team? They said goodbye to all our dollars when they let Cretin Bennett steal the Sonics away, so why are we begging for their leftover scraps? Fuck 'em.
Posted by JenV on April 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
TheRain 27
Seattle isn't going to get an expansion team. Seattle isn't going to get a team relocated here. Seattle is going to be the boogeyman that is used by the NBA to scare other cities into coughing up millions of dollars to make their rich owners even richer, and until we firmly and clearly tell the NBA to FOAD we will continue to be used, period.
Posted by TheRain on April 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Rujax! 28
Posted by Rujax! on April 29, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Seems to me Seattle's next logical step is to take the Bender route.

"We'll create our OWN NBA! With flannels! And rain! In fact, screw the flannels!"
Posted by K on April 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Yep, for the fat, pus-filled wannabe political operative calling itself Goldy, it was never even about getting a basketball team. It was about getting the fuckwit mayor who he's been whoring for re-elected, even if it should happen to cost $350 million. How fucking pathetic is he, anyway?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 31
@30 yeah, like your guy every lifted anything to get er done. As in, not.

Anyone think this was just their attempt to blackmail Steve Ballmer into releasing a version of Windows with a Start button?
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 32
I voted to build a local arena for the Mayan game in which the winners are sacrificed to the Gods and their heads are used as the balls for the next round. When that proposal was defeated I pretty much gave up on pro sports.
Posted by Gurldoggie on April 29, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
DOUG. 33
@27: Doubtful. Expect this ownership group and the current government support to disappear if the NBA doesn't promise a team in the next two years.

Seattle is not a cowtown to be used by Stern, et al. Unlike Sacto and OKC, there's other shit to do here. Fool me once, blah, blah, blah...
Posted by DOUG. on April 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Hooray for no new goddamn arena. Boo for however this manages to get resurrected in the near future.

I am pretty baffled by the idea that not having a pro sports team of your own is some kind of hardship for a city, but I'm even more baffled by the idea that you can just transplant one from another town and suddenly those guys from sacramento are the ones we think should win because they're "ours."

Posted by beef rallard on April 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
@12,@20, word on the NBA grapevine is that the owners are so not down with expansion for it would cut into their revenue stream, particularly the $$$ they're going to get from a new TV contract in a few years.

No NHL:(
Posted by neo-realist on April 29, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
No, the revenues they'll be getting from the new TV deal + payout from an expansion fee (which will easily be $500 million and split 30 ways) will mean expansion is on the table. But that TV deal isn't up until 2016.
Posted by Chali2Na on April 29, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Cool, now the stoners can have SODO for a GREEN LIGHT DISTRICT... way more fun for way more people and a shit ton more money.. all local too...;-D Think on that one.
Posted by pupuguru on April 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 38
@6: i'm confused: we have a river, too.

and a CSA metro area population of 4.2 million, versus 1.9 in sac.

unless you're being "ironic".
Posted by Max Solomon on April 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
@4 let's be honest. The Sounders DEFINITELY qualify as "underperforming" this year. And how.
Posted by grkle on April 29, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Hooray, finally Seattle politics can move on from "should we give a crapload of tax money to billionaires?"

Hansen's MOU has a 5 year window... so calm down NBA fans. Unless you actually fear giving voters time to act on this issue.
Posted by ChefJoe on April 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
The denial of a team is actualy part of Hansen's brillant strategy of getting a team down the road. We will all read about it at the Sonics Rising Blog, and perhaps, here under Goldy's moniker.
Posted by hmmmmm on April 29, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
@30 yeah, like your guy every lifted anything to get er done. As in, not.

My guy? And does "get er done" mean sucking a California billionaire's dick, sucking an apodment builder's dick, or sucking two dicks at a time?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
Has anyone bothered to notice that Hansen's hedge fund is hanging by a thread? Of course not. The fuckwits at the Stranger don't do numbers.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Re expansion, that's been the rumor for awhile. Stern will make expansion--including a Seattle team--his last big decision before retiring.

I don't buy it though.
Posted by ryanmm on April 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 45
@39 and yet the Sounders, last in the league, on a BAD DAY, have more attendance than the Sacramento Kings, on a GOOD DAY.

So, obviously, the arguments about market size and revenues are false.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 46
@43 it's just two quarters.

Hedge funds haven't done well as the market has done well, in that hedge funds are pretty much just gambling dressed up with mathematical equations of 4 to 6 level derivatives.

The sucker's bet was that hedge funds, with their continual burn rate, would consistently outperform low-cost index funds or ETFs. Although they could easily outperform most bond funds.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Seattle commenters really have strange things to say.
Posted by fweh fweh on April 29, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 48

It seems like Seattle can also be used in other ways to bully other cities. "Do what we say, or we'll move to Seattle." I would guess that the NBA sees leaving a second-tier media market without a team as only a good thing, given that they aren't interested in expanding the league.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 29, 2013 at 6:00 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 49
Good point, @48.

Perhaps it's the obsession with stadium revenue per se (boxes) and with TV revenues while both are under pressure from the migration to online free viewing of sporting events.

You can fight that with events that are more fun to participate in (e.g. Sounders model, which does well) or you can just deny this is happening (e.g. NBA not expanding to Seattle).
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 29, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Simone 50
Is the stadium going to be built anyway? If so, Fuck
Posted by Simone on April 29, 2013 at 6:44 PM · Report this
#46, hedge funds beat or underperform the market in all types of conditions. The idea that they have a harder time outperforming when the market's going up is just preposterous. The exact opposite is true; most of them do better than the market in good times.

Hansen didn't have two bad quarters, he had one bad one following by a disastrous one. He should've been [i]walloping[/i] the market, especially in Q1. If you look closely at Hansen's portfolio, it is evident that his "stellar" record was achieved because he managed to get venture capital shares in Facebook, and took a big bet on Apple. The rest is whipped cream on dogshit, and now the dogshit's starting to stink real bad.

I'm quite familiar with Chris's world. He's not nearly the big swingin' dick that the fuckwits and their fuckwit mayor and council thought he was. He's not as rich as they thought he was, and he doesn't have anything close to the financing staying power they thought he did. By this time next year, and maybe a lot sooner, even the fuckwits of the Stranger will see it.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 30, 2013 at 2:51 AM · Report this
p.s.: Hedge funds attract the hottest of the hot money. As we speak, I'm betting that Hansen's assets are shrinking like a pond in Phoenix in July. I have a buddy in that business who saw his pool shrink by 95% when his record fell a lot less than Hansen's just did. Stay tuned for Chrissy boy's Q2 report, especially the assets under management. The newspapers have already greatly overstated it, but soon they'll have to "mark to market," as it were.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 30, 2013 at 2:56 AM · Report this
One other thing to say.

It's axiomatic in the money management business that one of the most reliable sell signals is when an entity, almost always corporate, gets involved in professional sports. The minute a company's name goes on a stadium, sell the shares. There have been exceptions as there always are with everything, but the list of bankruptcies after pro sports involvement is just staggering.

A corollary is to sell if the CEO is building a big new house. Both things signal distraction and/or rampant egoism, both tending to occur at the top. Look at Hansen's arena involvement. It occurred at the absolute peak of his performance and wealth. He (and others) will look back and say that his arena deal was the mother of all hedge fund redemption signals.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 30, 2013 at 3:30 AM · Report this
Wait, one more one more.

There is also the question, what is a hedge fund, anyway?

The whole idea grows out of modern portfolio theory, which says that you can pick a combination of assets whose returns are not correlated with each other, and by doing so get the highest possible return for the lowest possible risk. From there, it was a short hop to portfolio insurance, which was the idea of using options and/or short positions to cushion any drops in your holdings, or "long" positions. Both of these concepts took a beating in the late 1990s and thereafter, when it turned out that correlations can be stronger than historical numbers suggest, and that your "insurance" might also go sour.

Hedge funds began their lives in the 1990s as so-called "market neutral" funds, which used the aforementioned ideas to claim that they could outperform the market no matter what. I worked at a joint that had a market neutral fund, run by an oddly calm Ivy League "quant" who wore granny glasses. If it had been the 1960s, he would've smoked a lot of mysteriously powerful weed, played sitar music, imitated a guru, and gotten laid all the time. Unfortunately for him, "market neutral" didn't work out, because everything was based on historical correlations, which have a way of changing.

From there, the working definition of "hedge fund" got stretched. After all, this is Wall Street, and the abaracadabera economy, where if you say the right words you will get the right numbers. So they borrowed the academic patina of risk management (modern portfolio theory won its inventor a Nobel Prize back in the '50s, and Nobel Prizes are great marketing materials) and started "hedge funds" that wound up being anything you wanted them to be, as long as there were some shorts in with the longs.

That's what Chris Hansen runs. And when they talk about him having >$2 billion under management, they are committing the unfortunate mistake (being "journalists" who are paid to know essentially nothing, but write about everything) of including the shorts with the longs, even though the shorts in a portfolio are -- by definition -- stock that is borrowed from the owners and not actually owned by he who's got the short position. So, even at his peak, Chris was pretty much double counted, and he naturally had no reason to correct anyone about that trivial point.

There are plenty of ways for the house of cards to collapse. One is that the holders of stocks you've shorted call in their shares. This is called "squeezing the shorts," which Wall Street knows can be painful. (Gotta love stock humor.) Another is that you underperform badly, as Mister Christopher is doing, and you get hit with redemptions, and have to liquidate positions. This can be especially tough if a large portion of your holdings happen to be in venture capital shares, or otherwise restricted stock. We don't know that part of Christy's holdings, because he doesn't have to disclose it.

In any case, I think it's quite safe to say that our Hometown Boy Made Good ain't even close to half the man the idiot mayor and the other local innumerate fuckwits thought he was.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 30, 2013 at 4:31 AM · Report this
maybe if folks want to bring a basketball team back to seattle they should follow our laws, including laws on siting, and laws on fair value that 74% of seattle voters approved.

if you don't, you will get sued. this tends to hurt your chances with the nba, especially if in defending your suit you go to court and say "aw shucks, judge, this deal here? not really binding, see no decision on the site has been made!" this kinda undercuts your statement to the nba that the site decision has been made. and if you are forced to say in court, "aw shucks, judge. this mou here? the one saying this is a binding and enforceable deal for $200M in public finance? aw shucks judge, this here ain't no binding agreement ....this fair value suit is too early, throw it out!" becuase that would tend to undercut your statement to the nba that you have a deal with the city of seattle in place.

Posted by the tangled web on April 30, 2013 at 5:25 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 56
In other words, gambling.

However, most serious sports analysts say this is really about the jerk who let the Sonics be stolen to get revenge on Seattle, versus Ballmer.

Ballmer has a lot more lawyers working for him.

As in thousands.

Expect fireworks soon.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 30, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this

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