Desperate times call for desperate measures. After the NBA’s Relocation Committee unanimously voted to deny relocation of the Sacramento Kings, prospective Seattle owner Chris Hansen released a statement that included the following line: “I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up.”
Well, now we know what one of those options is. Hansen’s ownership group, which includes Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer, has upped his previous offer of $550 million to a staggering $625 million, which, if the sale went through, would make the franchise value equivalent to that of the Miami Heat (hear that, Mickey Arison?).
The report of Hansen’s increased bid also comes just hours after Ric Bucher reported that the competing Sacramento ownership group is still looking for investors to put the entirety of the $341 million purchase price in escrow, prior to the Board of Governors meeting in Dallas next week. It should be noted the $341 million represents 65% of the franchise, valued at $525 million — Hansen’s original bid.
All we can say is that things just got a lot more interesting.