UPDATE II: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said in a press conference that the city will "do everything we can to put ourselves in the driver's>"/>
UPDATE II: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said in a press conference that the city will "do everything we can to put ourselves in the driver's seat," but added: "There's no guarantees. We're in a fight."
Meanwhile, Steven Large with CBS Sacramento tweeted that a source had told him that the Hansen offer was rejected by the Kings' current owners, the Maloof brothers. "Plot thickening by the minute," he tweeted.
UPDATE: According to Yahoo Sports, the deal is legit and the Sonics appear headed back to Seattle. More info below.
Have you heard the unsubstantiated rumors? No, no ... not those unsubstantiated rumors. I'm talking about the rumors - which started to run rampant last night on Twitter - that the Sacramento Kings have been sold to Chris Hansen and his merry band of Sonics investors.
Apparently started by Daina Falk (aka @TheHungryFan) - who is the daughter of NBA agent David Falk - the word on the street is the Kings owners, the bumbling Maloof brothers, have finally offloaded the team, and Seattle is the big winner in a ironic scenario that has the Emerald City making off with another city's team.
UPDATE: Here's an excerpt from Adrian Wojnarowski's piece on the pending deal for Yahoo Sports:
The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The group is seeking to relocate the franchise to Seattle's KeyArena for the 2013-14 season.
The Seattle group's plans, with support of the NBA, is to play two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new Seattle arena, sources said.
No agreement has been signed, but one source with knowledge of the talks described the deal as "first and goal at the 1." The Maloofs' history of changing course late in negotiations still has some uneasy about getting the sale completed. The Maloofs previously neared a deal with Sacramento leaders to help finance a new arena in the city before backing out.
And here's a sampling of the reaction via Twitter:
The Maloofs are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer led Seattle group, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2013
YOUR SONICS ARE COMING HOME.— Seattle Arena Plan (@ArenaSeattle) January 9, 2013
** Back to the original post **
At this point, of course, it's very important to point out that all of it is very speculative, and Daina Falk is far, far from a trusted source on such matters.
Locally, the folks who are trusted sources on such matters - like KING 5's Chris Daniels, for instance - haven't uncovered anything to verify the rumors. Meanwhile, a Kings spokesman tells KCRA in Sacramento that the team has not been sold.
Here's a glimpse at how the situation is playing out via Twitter:
Daughter of NBA super agent David Falk tweets Kings sold,headed to Seattle.Tweet removed amid denials. Seattle fans eager.Kings fans fed up— Joe Davidson (@SacBee_JoeD) January 9, 2013
Slowly but surely the McGoof brothers are going to come to the realization that there's One Way Out.— Mike Gastineau (@gasman206) January 9, 2013
"I cannot reveal my source but he generally hears about these things very early. Sorry to not be more forthcoming." - Daina on email w/ us.— Seattle Arena Plan (@ArenaSeattle) January 9, 2013
So, have the Kings been sold to Chris Hansen? At this point, no one really knows.
But as far as unsubstantiated rumors go, it's a pretty fun one to fantasize about.