I just got home from work so have been basically following this story by glancing at twiter when I could, but my early impression is that this is the beginning of the end.
I know the Maloofs are jerks and idiots, but they didn't do this on their own. KJ has been running his mouth ever since April 3rd, putting words into the mouths of the NBA Board of Governors, telling people openly about conversations that happened behind closed doors, etc., all a bunch of things someone who doesn't have an inside track would do (namely pretending, publicly, that they have an inside track). Yesterday, what happened? Bizarre propaganda media blitz from just about every Sacramento based reporter. They have parroted KJ all along, and even reportedly held off on reporting stories that would cross KJ's efforts (even though they were true). The propaganda blitz, in my eyes, was a blatant attempt to shift the narrative as hard in one direction as possible, to try to make the Kings staying an inevitability, painting the NBA in a corner to follow that narrative. I mean today Steinberg even said they matched the offer dollar for dollar, but quickly had to retract that statement (probably because they woke the sleeping giant).
Yes, the sleeping giant. Like I said, the Maloofs have not set this deadline and made this public statement to Sacramento's group to put up or shut up once and for all on their own. They certainly would not do this without Hansen and Ballmer's blessing. They seem to have a decent partnership with Hansen and Ballmer, and soliciting another offer (even as a "backup") would be potentially legally troublesome for them and running it by Chris and Steve would just make good sense to avoid that. Perhaps Hansen and Ballmer even endorsed the idea. But Hansen and Ballmer wouldn't go rogue. They've been working with the NBA for a while now, they've held to their gag order, etc. etc., and would not want to burn any bridges and would never take the risk. Which is why I think that sleeping giant has been awoken, and that's the NBA. I would not be surprised at all if the NBA has grown tired of KJ's PR campaign and attempts to politic the league to make the decision he desires. Stern and the NBA have always wanted to come out of this thing looking clean, and KJ has made that night impossible right now, so it would not shock me at all to hear that the NBA endorsed this plan to say "Ok, put your money where your mouth is. Put it in writing that you will be paying the Maloofs the same amount as Hansen in the event that the current PSA is denied." Sacramento's group hasn't put any money down. They've been all talk, and now they're talking with a level of arrogance and straight up bullsh*t that has made the situation untenable. If they don't match the offer, it gives the NBA all the room in the world to say "look, we gave you a chance, but you didn't put up the money."
And according to Chris Daniels, the numbers are still way off.
I like what Furness said: If Sacramento fails to match the offer, it's game over; if they do match the offer, it's game on.
Trust Chris Hansen.