With not much news today about the proposed purchase of the Sacramento Kings and subsequent relocation to Seattle — Chris Hansen and friends are still planning on buying them, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is still promising to find a local counteroffer — news coverage today instead turns to all the people who are trying to throw wrenches into the deal in one way or another:
- California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has written an open letter to the state of California’s chief procurement officer, wondering aloud whether Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer should really be looking into stealing one of the state’s teams when his company does lots of business with the state, if you catch his drift?
- Even if Hansen does move the Kings to Seattle, he still faces two lawsuits against his arena deal: one claiming that it would violate the terms of Initiative 91, which requires that the city turn a profit on any up-front arena investment; the other challenging the deal because an environmental impact statement wasn’t done before the plan was approved.
All of these objections seem pretty much like longshots: The way I-91 was written, it’s going to be nearly impossible to challenge whether this deal meets its requirements, and while EISes are almost always challenged by somebody, at worst they usually just end up getting amended. (And there’s nothing to stop the city council from just revoting once the EIS is complete, of course.) As for California cutting ties with Microsoft if the Kings are moved, if the state is still buying Windows products despite everything else the company is doing, it’s hard to see where a little franchise piracy is going to change their minds.