SBD/May 10, 2013/Franchises

Arison Indicates Committee's Decision About Sacto's Achievements, Not Seattle's Failures

Heat Owner Micky Arison has acknowledged that the NBA Relocation Committee recommended against moving the Kings to Seattle because the Sacramento group bidding for the team did "everything necessary" to keep it, according to Kasler, Bizjak & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Arison, who is on the committee, made the comments in a "Twitter exchange with a Seattle fan." He suggested that the committee's 7-0 vote "amounted to a referendum on Sacramento, not a rejection of Seattle." He said the committee's vote came down to whether Sacramento has "done all it should to keep the team," and the "answer is yes." However, Kasler, Bizjak & Lillis note Arison did criticize Seattle's failed attempt to keep the Sonics in '08, and it "extended to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer." Arison said Ballmer "never stepped up" when the Sonics were leaving. Arison is the "only member of the relocation committee to explain his vote," and the league had no comment on his tweets. Arison's comments were made "a week ago in a series of private 'direct messages' to a Seattle fan identified as Danny." Seattle-based KJR-AM on Thursday "posted the dialogue on its website" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/10).

TRYING TO GET IT DONE: In Seattle, Nick Eaton reported R.E. Graswich, a Special Assistant to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, on Thursday noted on his Twitter feed that the NBA has "'told' the Maloofs to take the Sacramento offer to buy the Kings." It appears the NBA may be "trying to resolve the Kings controversy behind closed doors." The league through the relocation committee vote has told Ballmer and Chris Hansen that "relocation is unlikely," while Johnson has suggested that Ballmer and Hansen "walk away" from the deal. The NBA meanwhile is "reportedly pushing the Maloofs to back out of the Seattle deal." Eaton: "Why? Because the NBA likely can’t block the Maloofs’ sale of the Kings to Seattle" (SEATTLEPI.com, 5/9).
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