Although the Kings’ franchise was considering moving to Seattle, the NBA Relocation Committee voted unanimously in favor of the Kings staying in Sacramento. The committee’s vote does not seal the Kings’ fate. However, the other NBA owners are expected to follow the relocation committee’s vote, thus keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
Investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer led the attempt to buy two thirds of the Kings’ franchise and move it to Seattle. However, Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is a former NBA player, made an effort to stop the team’s move to Seattle. NBA commissioner David Stern gave Johnson the chance to keep the Kings’ in Sacramento, and his efforts appear to have paid off.
Johnson made a similar, successful attempt to keep the Kings in Sacramento in 2011 when the franchise was looking to relocate to Anaheim. The Kings’ franchise has been a target for investors looking to bring an NBA team to their city, as the franchise is struggling in Sacramento. The Kings have missed the playoffs the past seven years, and in each of those years the team failed to win more games than they lost. This season, the Kings finished with a record of 28-54, putting them in 13th in the Western Conference and 25th in the NBA. The franchise is also last in the league in home game attendance, with only 13,749 people attending the average game.
Seattle had high hopes that they could bring an NBA team back to the city after the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and changed their team name to the Thunder. The franchise relocated after only three seasons out of the playoffs, the last of which the team finished last in the Western Conference.