I can't emphasize enough how important one piece of paper is.
It is a piece of paper with signatures on it. Who signed it? At the very least, Chris Hansen and the Maloof brothers. It may also have Steve Ballmer's signature and that of the Nordstrom brothers.
This document constitutes a binding agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle ownership group. That word binding is important. It means it carries the weight of law. Part of the agreement is a non-refundable $30 million deposit in the hands of the Maloof brothers.
If the NBA rejects it, they could face a law suit because of the $30 million and another PR nightmare that only a tangible expansion promise would mitigate.
While Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was listing the names of 19 POTENTIAL investors who pledge to invest $19 million to buy the Kings in today's pep rally, the NBA was reviewing a legally binding document, which only they can negate, that has all of the necessary financing legally promised..
While KJ kind of promised to reveal the name of the "whale" possibly by the end of the week, the NBA was reviewing a sales agreement with the names of three whales etched in stone.
While KJ was doing his job and rallying the troops (leadership that Greg Nickels can only dream of), NBA officials were pouring over legal documents and credit histories.
For the first time since Howard Schultz betrayed us the way the Maloofs just betrayed Sacramento fans, there is a piece of paper that says a group of Seattle investors owns an NBA franchise.
Could the NBA reject the sale? Yes they could. They won't do so, however, because Seattle has turned in a legally binding document, while the very honorable mayor of Sacramento lives out the lead role in a Herman Melville novel.