Potential Seattle SuperSonics investor Chris Hansen’s name came back to light a few weeks ago in a report that stated Hansen had made a monetary contribution to a Sacramento anti-arena group.
Hansen lost the battle to bring the Sonics back to Seattle when the NBA voted to keep the Kings in Sacramento, despite Hansen having a purchase agreement with the Maloof family for sale, transfer, and his intent for relocation of the franchise. The NBA voted with the intention that Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadivé would take controlling interest of the Kings to keep in California’s capitol and the promise of a new arena.
In a report by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, they did an investigation on the source of the funding for STOP’s (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) signature drive to get the Sacramento arena up for a public vote on the next ballot, an essential initiative to kill the city’s downtown arena deal. The investigation found that Hansen made an unreported contribution of $80,000 to STOP through a Southern California law firm shortly after he lost out on his bid to buy the Kings.
Many thought this move by Hansen to be a deathblow to his chances of landing an NBA franchise back in Seattle, but incoming Commissioner Adam Silver and current Commissioner, soon to retire, David Stern say otherwise in a new Seattle Times report.
I would say it won’t affect Seattle’s chances. I haven’t talked to Chris since those allegations came out. I think as he said, he got caught up in the moment.
I don’t think that matters vis-à-vis the NBA and Seattle’s potential at all.
Silver later chimed in again on the issue of Hansen and concern that the NBA will hold his actions against him, ending with,
We have a lot of competitive owners in the league. I’m sure all of that will be put behind us.
Since the report exposing Hansen, the Seattle investor now claims he regrets the decision and will take the steps needed to withdraw the signatures he funded for STOP’s campaign. His quest for an NBA team will continue and so will the city of Sacramento and the Kings organization on their finalizing of plans to build the new arena estimated to be open in the fall of 2016.