After information surfaced that hedge fund billionaire Chris Hansen donated money to a political group opposing a new arena for the Sacramento Kings without proper disclosure, it might seem that his efforts towards bringing an NBA team to Seattle would be placed in jeopardy. However, future NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there would be no harboring of ill will towards Hansen.
“We have a lot of competitive owners in the league,” said Silver, who will be replacing David Stern as NBA Commissioner when he retires on February 1, 2014. “I’m sure all of that will be put behind us.”
Hansen attempted to purchase the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle, but the NBA Board of Governors voted against the deal in April. Hansen was then fined $50,000 for not disclosing donations to California election officials about his $100,000 contribution to a group opposed to a new downtown Sacramento arena just days after his bid for the Kings was denied—he claims that he was not aware of the disclosure deadline.
Regardless of whether it was an honest mistake or simply sour grapes on the part of Hansen, Seattle fans should be excited to know that their hopes of having the NBA back in their city are still alive. They can also credit Silver since his statement essentially dismisses Hansen’s actions.
Of course, it can also be seen as a political move by Silver to ingratiate himself with NBA owners and fans before he takes the helm as commissioner of the league. Anything Silver does or says from this point forward could give an indication of how he plans to run the league in the future.