SBD/June 3, 2014/Franchises

Seattle NBA Advocate Chris Hansen Looking To Add Investors To Fill Steve Ballmer's Void

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Hansen views landing an NBA team as more difficult than securing investors
Seattle hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen yesterday said that he "envisions taking on multiple investors to fill the void" left by prospective Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer’s departure from his group looking to bring the NBA back to Seattle, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Hansen, appearing on KJR-AM in his first local interview since Ballmer bid $2B for the Clippers last week, said that he "still views landing an NBA team as a 'much more difficult' challenge than securing investors, but will need additional deep pockets." Hansen: "It’s likely that we would bring on at least another partner, or two, or three. I don’t think we want 20 partners. I think a handful of good partners is great." Baker notes Hansen gave "no time frame for adding partners." He said that he is "focused on getting an environmental impact study of his arena plan completed by summer’s end." Hansen said that his group "views hockey as a 'break-even proposition' and that his main goal remains an NBA team" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/3). Meanwhile, a SEATTLE TIMES editorial states Ballmer has both the "spare cash and the requisite grasp of reality to recognize that Seattle’s pursuit of a new sports arena and teams to fill it is, at best, improbable" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/3).

QUEEN OF ALL MEDIA: Talk show host Oprah Winfrey said that she "went back and forth in negotiations" for the Clippers. But she "pulled out of negotiations" when the cost neared the eventual sale price of $2B. Winfrey said, “$2 billion -- OK, now that’s my limit!” She added that the sale price "wouldn't have been a savvy business decision." Winfrey: "We went over that number, and then we went over that number again, and by the time we got to the final number (it was no longer) a good business decision" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 6/2).

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME: ESPN.com's Larry Coon listed his winners and losers of the Donald Sterling saga. Coon listed the NBA owners as a winner, because Ballmer's $2B bid for the Clippers "should increase the value of every other team." Coon: "If anything, maybe this sale merely creates a price bubble that will soon burst." Coon also listed the NBA BOG and Commissioner Adam Silver as winners, while potential new NBA owners, the Lakers and Lakers fans came out as losers (ESPN.com, 6/2). USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes Clippers co-Owner Rochelle Sterling's "deft maneuvering and quick sale" of the team "saved the NBA and her estranged husband untold embarrassment, to say nothing of millions in legal fees" (USA TODAY, 6/3).

YET ANOTHER LAWSUIT: In L.A., Dakota Smith reports a woman who said that she is a former employee and romantic partner of Donald Sterling "filed a lawsuit against the embattled Clippers owner" yesterday, alleging "discrimination and retaliation." Maiko Maya King alleges that she "worked for Sterling as his personal assistant, but lost her job last month after enduring a stream of racist and sexist taunts." She is "represented by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/3).
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