Complete Timeline of Sacramento Kings' Roller-Coaster Saga

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterMay 16, 2013

Sorry, Seattle. The Sacramento Kings are staying put.

According to the Associated Press, the NBA owners voted 22-8 to keep the Kings in California's capital. The league's relocation committee had previously unanimously recommended that the team not be allowed to flee to the Pacific Northwest.

The victory was a massive one for the city of Sacramento, its loyal fans, Mayor Kevin Johnson and the deep-pocketed investors who've stepped up to keep the Kings, but the fight is far from over.

The Maloofs, who own a 65 percent stake in the team, have a long history of shenanigans with regard to the franchise's future, as laid out by Pete Bosofin of the Sacramento Bee back in January.

In essence, the Maloofs have been trying to ditch Sacramento for over a decade now, and though they've been summarily stiffed by the NBA in their latest attempts, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll willingly sell their share to local interests.

That being said, the good folks of Sacramento deserve a moment of jubilation for their extraordinary efforts to keep the Kings from winding up in the hands of Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the rest of the group that had its sights set on the rebirth of the Seattle SuperSonics.

The ride to this point has been a long and crazy one for the Kings.

To get you caught up, let's have a look back at what's transpired since this saga became a showdown between Sacramento and Seattle this past January.


January 9th, 2013

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Maloofs are in negotiations to sell the Kings to a group led by Seattle magnates Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer for approximately $500 million.

Steve Large of CBS 13 in Sacramento later tweets that the Maloofs have rejected that offer.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson offers his immediate thoughts on the situation.

Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee goes on to characterize the discussions between the Kings and the Seattle group as "conceptual" (via Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk):

January 11th, 2013

The Sacramento Bee reports that Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, and Dale Carlsen, the man behind Sleep Train Mattress Centers (i.e. the company that currently owns the naming rights to the Kings arena), are both interested in buying the team and keeping it in Sacramento.


January 15th, 2013

Kevin Johnson tells the attendant media at the State of Downtown Breakfast that Sacramento will have an opportunity to make its case in front of David Stern and the NBA's Board of Governors (via James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom):


January 21st, 2013

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Hansen-Ballmer group comes to an agreement to purchase the Maloofs' share of the Kings at a valuation of $525 million. That would place the Maloofs' take at approximately $341 million for 65 percent of the franchise—53 percent from the Maloofs, 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich.

The NBA clarifies that the sale is subject to approval from the league's Board of Governors.


January 24th, 2013

According to Bob Moffitt of Capital Public Radio, Kevin Johnson begins his efforts to keep the Kings in Sacramento in earnest. He speaks with David Stern over the phone and later meets with a number of local politicians and interested investors to discuss the plan. Johnson tweets enthusiastically about his city's chances of winning this battle:

Later that day, Bob Cook, whose seven-percent stake in the Kings is up for sale amidst bankruptcy proceedings, tells the Sacramento Bee that he's helping broker a meeting between Johnson and Oracle founder Larry Ellison in an effort to keep the team in Sacramento.

That day also sees supermarket mogul Ron Burkle meet with Stern about partaking in the burgeoning bid to reestablish the Kings' tenuous roots in Sacramento, per Sam Amick of USA Today.


February 5th, 2013

Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk reports that the Seattle group's bid to buy the Kings could be hamstrung by preexisting stipulations in the franchise's ownership documents pertaining to the rights of the team's minority owners.


February 6th, 2013

David Stern announces (via King5 in Seattle) that the Hansen-Ballmer group has officially filed to move the Kings to Seattle.

Kevin Johnson responds with a strong statement of his own on the matter:


February 9th, 2013

Kings fans stage a "Here We Buy" night at Sleep Train Arena. More than 16,000 supporters show up to watch Sacramento upend the Utah Jazz, 120-109.


February 11th, 2013

Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter reveals that Ron Burkle is in cahoots with Relativity Media to launch Relativity Sports, an agency that intends to represent athletes, coaches and broadcasters. By rule, Burkle's involvement in the venture could jeopardize his ability to serve as a financial partner in any purchase of an NBA franchise, including the Kings.


February 14th, 2013

David Stern addresses the emerging situation between Seattle and Sacramento during NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston.


February 22nd, 2013

Aaron Bruski reports that Sacramento's relative lack of legal impediments in comparison to Seattle could give the home city the upper hand in the battle.


February 26th, 2013

According to Steve Large of CBS 13 in Sacramento, the city council agrees to negotiate with a group of as yet unnamed investors by a vote of 7-2:


February 28th, 2013

At his State of the City address, Kevin Johnson reveals that Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle are among those "unnamed investors" who will work to keep the Kings in Sacramento and help to build an arena at the Downtown Plaza site.


March 8th, 2013

Prior to a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in Oakland, David Stern tells the media that there's "substantial variance" between the offers put forth by groups from Seattle and Sacramento, and that the latter bid must improve if the Kings are to stay put (per the Associated Press).


March 21st, 2013

Vivek Ranadive, the founder and CEO of TIBCO and a minority stakeholder in the Warriors, comes forward as the leader of Sacramento's investment group.

That same day, Steve Large snaps a photo of a conceptual rendering of Sacramento's new arena while at city hall.


March 24th, 2013

Kings fans stage "Here We Buy 2." This time, though, the visiting Philadelphia 76ers come out on top, 117-103, in front of a crowd of nearly 15,000 at Sleep Train Arena.


March 25th, 2013

Kevin Johnson announces via Twitter that Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, has joined the group of moguls that intends to keep the Kings in Sacramento.


March 26th, 2013

According to Bruski, the Sacramento city council votes in favor of the Kings' arena term sheet by a 7-2 margin.


April 2nd, 2013

David Lucchetti, a minority owner of the Kings, matches Chris Hansen's offer to purchase Bob Cook's seven-percent stake in the team (via Kevin Johnson).


April 3rd, 2013

The prospective ownership groups from Seattle and Sacramento present their cases to the NBA in New York City. According to Bruski, Sacramento's proposed arena subsidy is nearly double that of Seattle.


April 8th, 2013

News breaks that Ron Burkle will no longer partake in Sacramento's bid on account of his involvement with Relativity Sports (via Aaron Bruski):


April 9th, 2013

According to Rob McAllister of KOVR 13 TV and CBS Sacramento, Mark Friedman will step up his efforts on behalf of a new arena in Sacramento:


April 12th, 2013

According to the Associated Press, the Seattle group ups its valuation of the Kings from $525 million to $550. In essence, this means that the Hansen-Ballmer consortium will pay the Maloofs an additional $16 million for their controlling stake in the team, putting the price tag at $357 million total.

That same day, Chris Kelly, a former executive at Facebook, announces that he's joined the Sacramento team and effort.


April 16th, 2013

The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau releases a 30-second spot in support of the city's bid to keep the Kings that's to be played every five minutes in New York City's Times Square—during the NBA's Board of Governors meetings, no less.


April 24th, 2013

AECOM, the architectural firm in charge of designing the new Sacramento arena, unveils a series of concept drawings.


April 29th, 2013

Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the NBA's relocation committee votes against the Kings' relocation efforts.

The vote is non-binding, though it stands as a strong recommendation to the Board of Governors to decline the Seattle group's request to move the Kings.


May 6th, 2013

According to the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento group offers to forfeit its slice of the league's revenue-sharing pie in an attempt to improve its case among the league owners. That forfeiture could cost the Kings approximately $15 million per year in funds normally allocated to franchises in small and mid-sized markets like Sacramento's.


May 10th, 2013

In yet another attempt to swing the proceedings in favor of Seattle, Chris Hansen announces that his group has once again raised its valuation of the Kings, this time up to $625 million. The shift pushes the price of the Hansen-Ballmer bid for the Maloofs' stake up to $409 million.


May 12th, 2013

Per Brian Windhorst of, the Maloofs threaten to retain ownership of the Kings if the team's relocation to Seattle isn't approved by the league's Board of Governors.

In addition, the Maloofs reportedly cobble together a "backup" agreement whereby they would sell 20 percent of the team to the Hansen-Ballmer group for $125 million in order to allow the incumbent owners to continue operating the organization.

Furthermore, Windhorst's sources indicate that the Seattle group has offered an unheard-of relocation fee of $115 million to entice the NBA's owners to side with them.


May 15th, 2013

The Seattle and Sacramento groups make their final presentations at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings in Dallas. The owners vote 22-8 against relocation, thereby keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

For now, at least.


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