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NBA committee recommends rejecting Kings move
The potential Sacramento ownership group also includes 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, former Facebook senior executive Chris Kelly and the Jacobs family that owns communications giant Qualcomm. Johnson has touted the group as a “California team” with members from all over the country’s most populated state.
“Just not ours,” he said.
“I feel good for KJ because he’s worked so hard,” said interim Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo, who worked with Johnson at NBC and coached the Sonics in their last season. “If it goes down that way, there’s no question who deserves the credit because, I mean, they could’ve rolled over a long time ago. Kevin just really made this happen, which is great.”
Seattle is now back to wondering when, and if, the NBA will ever return.
Hansen’s purchase agreement with the Maloofs seemed the perfect solution for the heartache that has lingered in the Puget Sound since the Sonics _ and their 41 years of history _ were moved to Oklahoma City. Hansen spent nearly two years working to get an arena plan approved by the city and county governments and spent more than $65 million buying land in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood where the arena would be built.
In the last few months, fan interest and support seemed to be at its highest since before Bennett purchased the team from Howard Schultz in 2006. Now those same fans are stuck waiting to see what the next move by Hansen and Ballmer will be, including mounting an effort for expansion or buying another team.
Hansen has a five-year memorandum of understanding with the city and county on the arena plan. Whether momentum for the NBA in Seattle will remain also is unclear.
AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle, AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in New York and AP writer Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.
By John R. Bolton
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