Chris Hansen is the man who headed up the ownership group which attempted to buy and then relocate the Sacramento Kings franchise to Seattle.
The league’s owners voted against relocation, which effectively killed the deal in favor of a sale to a local group who would keep the Kings in Sacramento and build a new downtown arena there within the next few years.
Hansen was found to have contributed money to a group that was intent on stopping the arena proposal, even after the league had already made its decision. That miscue had many wondering if Hansen or Seattle would suffer any long-term consequences from the league, in terms of the city being considered for an NBA franchise at some point in the future.
The apparent answer is “no,” and comes from Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver himself.
Chris Hansen’s secret contribution to a group opposed to a new arena in Sacramento will not hurt the billionaire’s efforts to deliver an NBA team to Seattle, said incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“I would say it won’t affect Seattle’s chances,” Silver said Sunday in Springfield, Mass., before the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony. “I haven’t talked to Chris since those allegations came out. I think as he said, he got caught up in the moment.” …
However, Silver indicated concerns about anyone holding a grudge are overblown.
“We have a lot of competitive owners in the league,” he said “I’m sure all of that will be put behind us.”
People in Sacramento who want Hansen punished in some way for his perceived underhanded dealings won’t be happy to hear about this, but they’ve kept their team, and their battle is over.
The reality is that in financial decisions involving billions, the NBA (or any smart business) isn’t going to be petty in holding grudges over small gestures like these. Hansen appears to still be in the league’s good graces, as does the city of Seattle — although if the league does end up returning there with a franchise, a built-in rivalry with the Kings would seem to be already in place.