Investor remains committed to Seattle NBA team despite Ballmer exit

Flashback Friday: Seattle SuperSonics fans rallied to try and keep the franchise in 2008.

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SEATTLE — Investor Chris Hansen says he remains committed to getting the NBA back to Seattle even though he just lost one of his biggest partners in the process.

Hansen released a statement Friday congratulating former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Hansen says Ballmer’s commitment will make him a ”great owner and strong asset for the league.”

But Ballmer’s deal in Los Angeles leaves him out of Hansen’s investment group that has attempted to get a team back to Seattle. Hansen says his remaining partners — two members of the Nordstrom department store family are the other known partners — are still committed.

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Hansen says environmental reviews on a proposed arena are nearing completion and ”we will soon be in a strong position to attract a franchise” to Seattle.