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Report: Kings to be sold to Seattle ownership group

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the owners of the Sacramento Kings are close to finalizing a deal that would send the team to Seattle as soon as possible.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it's looked like this was going to happen for a while, but Sactown Royalty and others have linked to Wojnarowski's report that the Kings' (really crappy) owners have sold the team:

The Maloof family is finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that hopes to move the franchise to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The group is seeking to relocate the franchise to Seattle's KeyArena for the 2013-14 season.

It's a terrible thing when an NBA fanbase is removed from its team. This happened to Seattle when the Sonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Before that, it happened to the Hornets, and, yes, it happened to the Grizzlies. It's never a good thing. While I'm happy to have the Seattle SuperSonics back in the league, I wish it could've been done without inflicting this much pain on a city that tried so hard to keep its team in place.

As Grizzlies fans, we should all be thankful that this isn't how Michael Heisley's sale of the franchise to Robert Pera over the summer played out, and we should also be glad that when the Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2000/2001, the city had the foresight to lock the team in place as long as they could. That's what made the Grizzlies franchise unmovable, and prevented this kind of thing from happened here.

It's not a done deal yet, but if these reports turn out to be true, this is a sad day for Sacramento and a bad day for small-market basketball fans. Griz fans: how do we feel about being fans of a "stolen" team?