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Originally published March 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM | Page modified April 2, 2013 at 5:32 PM

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Kings minority owner abandons plan to buy team

John Kehriotis, who owns 12 percent of the Sacramento Kings, said last month he would attempt to buy the team and build a privately financed arena in Sacramento.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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There is no winner because this is the NBA we're talking about. Hansen's offer, as w... MORE
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Among the many recent subplots of the Seattle/Sacramento battle over the Kings had been the claim of a current minority owner that he intended to try to make a bid for the team.

But that apparently won't happen. It was reported Friday that the minority owner John Kehriotis is abandoning his attempt to bid on the team and build a privately financed arena north of downtown.

Kehriotis owns 12 percent of the Kings and said last month he would try to exercise his right of first refusal to buy the team. But KCRA-TV reported that he "couldn't pull together the investors" to make the bid.

Kehriotis has not been part of the ownership group that has been assembled by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson that is making its own bid for the team.

That group is led by four major investors who also are backing a plan for a new $447 million downtown arena.

The Sacramento City Council approved a term sheet for the arena this week, which will be part of the presentation by Johnson and others in the ownership group when they meet before a select group of NBA owners Wednesday in New York.

A Seattle group led by Chris Hansen in January reached agreement to buy 65 percent of the team from the current majority owners, the Maloof family.

But that offer, as well as a request to relocate the team to Seattle beginning with the 2013-14 season, must be approved by the NBA.

Johnson is attempting to assemble an ownership group and arena deal package that will compel the NBA to deny the sale to the Hansen group and force the team to remain in Sacramento.

Hansen will lead the Seattle contingent that will also meet with NBA owners next week.

Both sides will meet again in New York before the full NBA Board of Governors on April 18-19. While the Wednesday meeting is deemed as critical toward the ultimate decision, it is not expected that a full vote and announcement will come until the BOG meeting later in the month.

Hansen has said little publicly since the announcement of the agreement to buy the team, adhering to an NBA media gag order.

However, Hansen did release a statement through the sonicsarena.com website Friday afternoon while also presenting more renderings of the proposed arena.

In the statement, Hansen wrote "as we head toward what is hopefully the finish line, I would just like to say what an amazing experience this has been."

He also wrote that the results of the number of people who have signed up for a priority ticket wait list will be announced on Monday. The wait list remains open until 1 p.m. Monday.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @bcondotta

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