In yet another delay that will not affect the sale, but just drag it out, the Maloofs have handed over documentation of the King's sale to the bankruptcy trustee who is tasked with maximizing the 7% stake in the team.
Here's the deal; The Maloofs agreed to sell their 65% stake to the Hansen/Ballmer group, leaving 35% in the hands of several minority owners. By minority owners, I don't mean ethnic minority. Got it? The 7% in question belongs to Bob Cook. Bob declared bankruptcy, cause that's what rich folks do. The trustee charged with liquidating this asset, David Flemmer, is trying to make a claim that the minority owners of the team have a 'right to match' any offer for the team. Naturally, this is where the lawyer, Don Fitzgerald gets involved, drags this out for as long as possible and, voila, has a ton of billable hours to show his boss. Isn't America fun?
The claim is that this would potentially position the minority owners to match Hansen/Ballmer's offer for the team, somehow they'll be able to come up with the $340 million and save the team for the SacTown fans. It's cute, and makes nice press for the SacBee, but is not the reality of the situation. They've had a chance to buy out the Maloofs for years and yet none have stepped forward. Suggesting now they're gonna, and go up against the wealthiest potential ownership group in sports, is laughable. Ballmer and Hansen have over $20 billion in resources. That's billion with a b.
This is a hollow attempt by Flemmer and Fitzgerald to artificially inflate the value of the 7% by potentially creating a bidding war and, realistically, an attempt to coerce the Hansen/Ballmer group to overpay for that 7%. They may just do it, but they don't have to. They already have a deal for the majority stake of the team and this won't change anything.
What's tragic about this move is the hope it stirs for Kings fans. The SacBee and it's ilk will ride this story into the ground in an attempt to drive readers to their site and exploit the ad-sales potential while Flemmer/Fitzgerald exploit the press coverage to monetize thier situation. It's smoke and mirrors. The Kings have been sold, Stern will approve with a smile, the BOG will follow in step, Clay Bennett (who thugged the Sonics, is the most hated man in Seattle and is now, brazenly, chairman of the relocation committee) will rubber stamp his approval and the Sonics will be filling Key Arena next season. Enough with the silly stalling tactics by the lawyers and Kevin Johnson.
Now, what to do about DeMarcus Cousins...