In the end, this story is really more about the state of mind in Sacramento than it is about reality in Seattle.
Recently, Steve Ballmer — one of the guys in on the ground floor of Microsoft, the man who was the company’s spokesman for many years — sold off some of his shares of Microsoft stock and put a lot of cash in his pocket. And by a lot of cash, we mean a billion dollars. Yes, with a “B.”
Ballmer is a big basketball fan, he was one of the guys trying to get Key Arena renovated in a way that would have kept the Sonics in Seattle.
Meanwhile the Kings can’t get a new arena is Sacramento built. Ergo… this report from NCWN:
Ballmer has never been shy about his love for professional basketball, and led an effort to renovate Key Arena before the Sonics left for Oklahoma City. Is he now interested in the Sacramento Kings?
”I don’t put much stock in it,” said Bob Graswich, a spokesperson for the Sacramento Mayor’s Office. “We know there are guys out there like Mr. Ballmer. We know those guys can write a check, but will they?”
Not that Ballmer couldn’t, but there really is nothing here to base this on other than the paranoia that is running through Sacramento now that plans for a new arena fell through. It didn’t help that David Stern said the NBA league office was washing its hands of the Sacramento arena situation.
But on the ground in Sacramento, there is worry. They took the Kings out of Kansas City in 1985, and now there is a beautiful new NBA ready building in KC. There is talk of building a new arena in Las Vegas (although that faces monumental hurdles). There is Seattle and… look, a lot of places would like an NBA team.
The article drips with that concern — Sacramento has one big pro sports team and they feel like they could lose it. Rightfully, because they could lose it.
But not to Ballmer in Seattle. Probably.