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UPDATE: NBA Relocation Committee Blocks Kings’ Move To Seattle

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Mayor Kevin Johnson took to the podium at The Firehouse Restaurant with a message of thanks for the community, but a reminder that there is still more to be done.

“It’s not over yet, there is still work to be done,” Johnson said. “This process is still ongoing and we need to respect it.”

The NBA’s Relocation Committee voted unanimously earlier in the day to recommend denying a possible move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. An official vote by the Board of Governors will come in May.

“The championship is when that final vote comes down,” he said.

If the bid to move the team is denied, it is believed that prospective buyer Chris Hansen will step away from his bid to purchase the team.

The mayor also said while fans may be proud of their efforts to keep the Kings, it is also important to be respectful to the city of Seattle.

“We do not want to dance in the end zone,” Johnson said.

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson released a statement about today’s vote:

“Today’s vote is wonderful news for Sacramento. The Committee made a statement that it is not interested in relocating teams when there is a viable option to keep the team where it has been historically successful. Sacramento has proven its fan loyalty and the commitment of civic and governmental leadership. We have delivered a strong financing plan and a solid ownership group. I am hopeful that the NBA’s board of Governors votes to keep the Kings where they belong – here in Sacramento.”

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NEW YORK (CBS/AP) – The NBA says its relocation committee has voted unanimously to recommend that owners deny the application for the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle.

The committee, made up of 12 NBA owners, held a conference call on Monday and will forward its recommendation to the NBA Board of Governors. The Board of Governors will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on the matter.

The Maloof family has had an agreement since January to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the Kings to a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has helped put together a competing counteroffer complete with a new arena plan and an ownership group headed by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive.

Mayor Johnson tweeted his praise for Kings fans, and congratulated the Seattle-led investment team on their efforts.

Investors and fans from both cities had hoped NBA the relocation committee would decide the team’s fate on earlier this month, but league owners wanted more details from the Sacramento and Seattle groups before they made their recommendation.

“I think it’s a huge decision for the league. I think it’s two fantastic cities,” said Deputy NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The decision comes after the Seattle group offered up to $16 million more than the Sacramento group for the team and after the Maloofs fought both privately and publicly to sway the vote toward Seattle.

“They’re in the same ballpark with respect to the net result of the selling family,” said Stern referring to the Sacramento group’s offer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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