The NBA has ruled the Sacramento Kings will remain just that, Sacramento’s.
The NBA’s Board of Governors met Wednesday in Dallas to make a decision on the future home of the team. The majority owners of the team, the Maloof brothers, had competing offers from a group of investors in Seattle and a group in Sacramento.
The league’s relocation committee recommended earlier this month the team stay in Sacramento. NBA Commissioner David Stern said 22 of the 30 board members voted against relocating the Kings Wednesday.
Stern also said the league will facilitate an agreement between the Maloofs and the Sacramento investor group to sell the team. He hopes the brothers will be motivated to move fast on the sale so the new investors and arena plan can get moving.
He did confirm that because the board only voted on the relocation issue Wednesday, the Maloofs have the right to maintain their majority ownership of the team and do not have to sell. However, Stern said he expects the brothers to transfer to the Sacramento group headed by Vivek Ranadive and Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Seattle’s group upped their offer to more than $600 million Friday, however Stern said Wednesday the Sacramento offer they considered was still the $525 million.
The NBA Deputy Commissioner, Adam Silver, said the discussion among the board members was not focused on pitting Sacramento and Seattle against each other, but whether Sacramento could continue to support an NBA franchise.
The commissioner said he would keep up a conversation with the potential owners in Seattle, “but we don’t have anything concrete to offer them at this time.” He said there was only generalized talk about possible expansion of the NBA sometime in the future, however he said it was important to wait for new television contract renewals, which are expected in the next year or so.