JSeahawks wrote: pinksheets wrote:
Snohomie wrote:If St. Hansen isn't able to get a public commitment of an expansion team, on a timeline he agrees to, I hope he sues the everloving bejeebus out of the NBA. We know how much the behind-the-door promises of David Stern are worth.
I agree. Everybody says that if he does we'll never get a team back, but fine, that's where I'm at anyways. Go nuclear on the NBA. If they can scorch earth here then we'll return the favor.
And as Mitch pointed out on KJR today, this all to keep the team in Sacramento, an absolute crap market. It almost seems like a joke.
What can you sue for though? I'm assuming he knew that even if he had an agreement to purchase the team that the other NBA owners would still have to approve relocation.
I'm not trying to take the NBA's side, just asking the question.
If they deny the sale, there are antitrust implications, regardless of what NBA by-laws are, they don't trump federal law. The NBA is a de facto monopoly that one could argue coerces all parties into waiving legal rights due to being the only game in town. If they refuse to consider expansion, there are antitrust implications there as well, as it can be argued that this de facto monopoly is acting as a cartel that unfairly constricts the number of teams to line their own pockets. If Hansen actually took over the team and they tried to deny relocation again, there's always the antitrust route Al Davis took against the NFL, as well. These are 30 separate businesses, not one company that actually grants "franchises" in the sense that McDonalds does. When a Tampa Bay ownership group was denied their perfectly sound PSA to buy the SF Giants with the intention of relocating, they sued the MLB, the MLB panicked and granted Tampa expansion. These professional sports leagues basically operate on wink and nudge type agreements that everybody involved has an aligned interest not to see this whole thing blow up, because they do operate on very shaky legal ground. It's why during the past NFL lockout there was a lot of talk, and even a lawsuit started (which was pulled back when an agreement was reached) that would have nuked the entire concept of the NFL draft. I have no idea if Hansen and Ballmer would even consider going this route, but if anybody knows some good antitrust attorneys, it's going to be Steve Ballmer.
The NBA's greatest weapon against antitrust suits is that they have the deep pocket books to stay in the legal process game longer than most potential plaintiffs, not a strong basis in law.