Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer still trying to bring the NBA to Seattle

ballmer-headshotIt remains to be seen what Steve Ballmer will do with all his time — other than play a little golf — now that he’s no longer CEO of Microsoft, but his passion to bring professional basketball back to Seattle hasn’t swayed one bit.

Chris Hansen, who is leading an investment team that wants to own an NBA team in Seattle, told reporters on Wednesday that Ballmer is still apart of his group, which also includes two members of the Nordstrom family.

Hansen and Ballmer came extremely close to purchasing the Sacramento Kings and moving them to Seattle about one year ago, but an NBA committee voted to block Seattle’s $625 million bid to bring pro hoops back to the Emerald City for the first time since the Supersonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008 — a decision that left Ballmer “incredibly emotional,” and “horribly disappointed.”

Basketball is something the former Microsoft CEO deeply cares about and it’s not surprising that he’s still part of this investment team. Ballmer was a regular at Sonics games before the team departed for Oklahoma City and also was part of another investment group that tried to keep the team here.

Hansen announced on Wednesday that he’s dedicating a SoDo warehouse that sits on the land he purchased for a potential NBA arena to the A Plus Youth Foundation, an organization that uses sports to help kids succeed in life and one that Hansen and Ballmer are supportive of.

Hansen told the Associated Press that he doesn’t expect to bring an NBA team to Seattle for at least a few more years, but his investment group is still committed to making it happen.

Related: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer offers advice for young entrepreneurs

  • NBA is over

    He should put that energy into getting an NHL franchise instead

    • Kenneth Hagist

      Leaders have said the MOU would not pass if Hockey came to Seattle first.

    • Mike

      NHL as a secondary makes more sense. The market for NHL here is small and the direct competition is a couple hours north with rabid Canuck fans.

  • Guest

    Thanks, Steve! We came so close last year, but without the distraction of running a Fortune 500 company, I expect you to win this year.