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Originally published May 20, 2013 at 6:17 PM | Page modified May 21, 2013 at 10:41 PM

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Chris Hansen vows quest to bring NBA back to Seattle will continue

Chris Hansen, who is leading a group that attempted to buy the Sacramento Kings, congratulated Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on his efforts to keep the team.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Five days after the NBA denied his attempt to purchase the Sacramento Kings and relocate the team to Seattle, Chris Hansen said he was disappointed in the league's decision and vowed continued dedication to "bringing the NBA back to Seattle."

The NBA Board of Governors voted 22-8 on Wednesday in Dallas against moving the Kings to Seattle. The vote effectively ended Hansen's bid to purchase the Kings from the Maloof family. Immediately after the decision, Hansen said in a statement he hoped to purchase a minority stake in the Kings.

Two days later, however, a group led by software mogul Vivek Ranadive that was attempting to keep the team in Sacramento reached an agreement to buy the 65-percent share of the team owned by the Maloof family and their business partner Robert Hernreich for $347 million.

The deal set the team's overall value at $535 million, less than Hansen's offer that would have given the Maloofs $358 million and valued the team at $625 million.

In a statement that read like a consolation speech, Hansen said plans to buy the Kings were over.

He congratulated Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for his efforts to retain the NBA team and said his bid to buy the Kings "was never about Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans."

"This process was instead about our group and our city putting our best foot forward in an honest and transparent way to return basketball to Seattle, and in that regard our efforts remain undeterred," Hansen said.

Hansen thanked Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and supporters for their work during the two-year endeavor that began in 2011.

Hansen said the possibility of the NBA expanding to Seattle is unclear. He gave no specifics on his next step while noting the process is difficult and requires patience.

Hansen still has a five-year memorandum of understanding with the city of Seattle on a financing plan for a multipurpose sports arena in the Sodo neighborhood, just south of Safeco Field.

However, construction cannot begin until he secures an NBA team.

"We will continue to press forward with our arena plans with the same commitment and effort we have over the last two years, and look forward to working with the city and county to see the project through the hurdles that remain," Hansen said. "Likewise, we plan to continue to work with the league regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our city."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @percyallen.


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