In the “closest” relocation vote in modern NBA history, the full collection of 30 NBA owners voted to a 22-8 majority to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle.
After a nearly four-hour voting process, the owners chose to go along with a previous recommendation by the league’s “relocation committee” in keeping the Kings at home. There had been widespread chatter concerning the owners responding to a new offer from a Seattle-based group (led by Chris Hansen), but in the end, those rumors fell on deaf ears.
Following the vote, NBA Commissioner David Stern held a press conference, and was quoted as saying that the Hansen group’s push to seize ownership of the Kings had “ended effectively” with the news that they’d remain in Sacramento, and Chris Hansen even released a statement to the city of Seattle (and all former Sonics fans) that included assurances that he would continue to attempt to bring NBA basketball back to the Pacific Northwest.
It still seems as if the NBA committee will finally be rid of the Maloof brothers (and their circus) as there is a different ownership group (led by the founder of 24 Hour Fitness) that is set to pony up the needed funds to purchase the team. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (the former Phoenix Suns point guard) led a crusade to keep the Kings in the city, and in the end, his push (along with assurances of a publicly-funded arena) looks to have succeeded.
There will be additional details in this story, but the damage is done, and the city of Seattle will be left with no NBA team while the city of Sacramento rejoices.