SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The battle to keep the Kings in Sacramento could end up in a federal courtroom.

As many come to find out, doing business in or with Sacramento is never a simple transaction. Whether it is political or legal, you are going to get a fight, and the Hansen-Balmer group from Seattle is finding that out in trying to take the Kings.

Bob Cook may have a front-row seat to watch the effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento. His financial woes have led to his 7 percent share of the team being tied up in bankruptcy court. And it’s that share that a major investor such as Ron Burkle could sweep in and buy.

But sports law expert Michael McCann says the courts could rule the new buyer was not a minority owner when a deal between the Maloofs and Chris Hansen’s group was made.

“It’s not clear that if someone buys the team through the 7 percent bankruptcy, they will also get the right to match (Hanse’s offer),” McCann said.

Even if a Burkle can not match the $340 million offer the Hansen group has agreed to with the Maloofs, the issue may very well be stuck in court, delaying the majority sale of the team and ultimately keeping the Kings in the Capital City for the time being.

“Lawsuits, arbitration, anything that suggests a delay is a plus for Kings fans,” McCann said.

But being tied up in court does not guarantee the team stays in Sacramento. Seattle groups tried to prevent the Sonics from leaving for Oklahoma City in 2008 but were unsuccessful.


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