Before Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion (a deal that is currently only agreed on in principle, though is expected to go through), he had his sights on two smaller market teams.
We all know about Ballmer’s desire to purchase the Sacramento Kings along with hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, though, the two were rebuffed by the NBA despite agreeing to a deal with the Kings previous ownership.
That sale was nixed by the NBA after Ballmer and Hansen wanted to relocate the Kings to Seattle, but the two didn’t stop there.
According to ESPN, the parties attempted to purchase the Milwaukee Bucks last month with the intention of moving them to Seattle as well. But despite a bid of $650 million dollars, nothing came of it as the Bucks were sold to an investor group willing to keep the team in Milwaukee for $550 million.
Just last month, Ballmer and partner Chris Hansen made a preliminary aggressive bid to buy the Milwaukee Bucks and move them to Seattle, offering in excess of $650 million, sources told ESPN.com. With an expected relocation fee, the price to turn the Bucks into the new Seattle SuperSonics would have topped $800 million.
Clearly, Ballmer and Hansen have been doing what they can to return basketball to the Northwest though it’s hard to believe the NBA would ever let a team leave the Los Angeles market, so Ballmer may be leaving the dream of basketball returning to Seattle with Hansen moving forward.
Ballmer and Hansen also offered $625 million for the Kings, who sold for $534 million.