NBA vote not the definitive punch it appeared to be; renewed hope for Sonics fans

by: John Knicely Updated:

SEATTLE —

Two weeks after what felt like a definitive punch in the gut from the NBA Relocation Committee, Sonics fans have renewed hope. 

Sources with knowledge of the vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento say it wasn’t as overwhelming as the NBA made it appear.

 The final vote was 7-0 opposed to moving the Kings to Seattle.  But sources say the committee had agreed on a unanimous vote regardless the outcome.   And the initial straw poll was 4-3, meaning three committee members recommended moving the team to Seattle. 

 In fact, recent NBA Relocation Committee votes have also been unanimous giving the appearance that no committee members opposed the Sonics move to Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies move from Vancouver to Memphis, and the Hornets move from Charlotte to New Orleans.

 “The general consensus is that it’s all up in the air,” said Brian Robinson with SonicsRising.com.  “I think both sides have tried to make it appear they had it in the bag from day one. What I think is clear is nobody has had it in the bag.”

 Robinson believes the Seattle investment group led by Chris Hansen knew the relocation vote was much closer and is part of the reason they decided to increase their bid by $75 million.

 “What really stands out is the unrelenting resolve by this ownership group to show they're not going to abandon this offer,” he said.

 With that new offer on the table the NBA Relocation Committee was reported to have another conference call Monday ahead of Wednesday’s vote by the full NBA Board of Governors in Dallas, Texas.