Will the Seattle Supersonics be returning to the Emerald City? That is the $341 million question. Actually, the question keeps getting upped in price.
The tough part of this issue is David Stern. Fans in Seattle are obviously still a little bitter about how Stern allowed the team to get moved to Oklahoma City. Now, there is a general vibe that perhaps he is running interference. If the team stays in Sacramento, there will likely be an assumption that Stern poisoned the owners against the Pacific Northwest.
How will this end up?
At this point, the Maloofs have publicly called (via ESPN) for the team to get sold to the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group. The reality is that Stern may not care a great deal what the Maloofs think.
What is slightly baffling is why the NBA would want to keep the Kings in Sacramento. In terms of making money, Seattle is arguably a much more vibrant marketplace in terms of fan population and complimentary sports teams.
Something feels fishy to fans, particularly since Stern has been accused of being arrogant (via Bleacher Report) in the past. Now, does this mean that he would block the team moving to Seattle just because he can? One never knows what truly goes on behind the scenes.
Complicating this issue is the conflicting information. As noted by The Seattle Times, Stern is saying one thing, while the Maloofs are saying another. Whenever the phrase “Stern also disputed” is involved, you know that the rhetoric is flying fast and furious.
NBA Insider Sam Amick tweeted this:
With Stern saying net result to Maloofs is same, would love to know their motivation in fighting so hard for Seattle. Something missing.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 19, 2013
Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee tweeted this:
Maloofs in letter to NBA: "We see no reason to continue any dialogue with the Sacramento group."— Tony Bizjak (@TonyBizjak) April 19, 2013
Finally, Dave “Softy” Mahler tweeted this:
Stern just made it obvious. Giving Sac time to win this. U don't see that now you're blind. As a bat.— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) April 19, 2013
Something doesn’t add up. There are games afoot, and they may not benefit Seattle.