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Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 11:45 am  |  12 responses

Sacramento Reportedly Has a ‘Shot’ to Keep the Kings


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

All is not lost for Kings fans, according to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson anyhow.

KJ gave a stirring and impassioned speech yesterday, promising his city that they are still very much in the fight to keep their pro basketball team. The move to Seattle — once thought to be inevitable — has some hurdles to overcome.

Per the Sac Bee and Yahoo! Sports:

With high-ranking NBA executives monitoring events closely from their suburban New York homes – one suspects, almost as closely as folks in Seattle – the mayor outlined the most current state of the Kings’ affairs as follows: Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, is the point man for an ownership group that will submit a proposal countering the $341 million offer the Maloofs have accepted from Seattle-based moguls Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer; Ron Burkle, the supermarket tycoon, will lead efforts to build an arena; the plans include replacing the Downtown Plaza with a sports and entertainment complex. There were few specifics but several other interesting offerings of note. Johnson said the list of local investors committing at least $1 million includes former Kings star Mitch Richmond. He revealed that WNBA officials have been approached about bringing back the Monarchs. Later, he seemed to leave an opening for inclusion of John Kehriotis and the Kings’ other limited partners. “Who are we?” the mayor asked the pro-Kings, pro-downtown crowd. “What defines us as a city?”

Mastrov and the local investors’ bid is “slightly lower,” than the $341 million that the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group has agreed to pay for the available 65 percent of the Kings, a high-level source involved in the talks said. “They have a shot,” the source said. “It’s still a long shot, but the bid will be close enough to cause real debate.”

Despite all of the rhetoric, the Kings’ future remains very hazy. The Maloofs are expected to “entertain” the counter-offer from the folks in Sacramento, but there’s no telling if that can or will change anything. They seem fairly hellbent on getting out of Sac-Town.

It won’t be an easy exit, if Kevin Johnson and the investors he speaks for are to be believed: “This situation before us is a defining moment,” Johnson said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will shape who are we. So with all due respect to Seattle, and I absolutely do wish them well. And I do hope they get a team someday. But let me perfectly clearly. Let me be perfectly, crystal clear. It is NOT going to be this team.”

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  • zogs19994

    BALL SAC….RAMENTO

  • Guest

    like a mother fighting for custody of her disabled child.

  • Redd

    Lol, the money was transferred, it’s going to court if the owners don’t accept it.

  • Wtf

    The bigger question is why does Utah even have a team?

  • LakeShow

    Because they have a huge, loyal, fanbase… Maybe…

  • RedDragon10

    I wonder how non-sacramento and non-seattle fans feel about this. Are they for bringing back a historic franchise such as the supersonics or would they rather have the kings? I’m flip-flopping on the issue.

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    The joy I felt for the Supersonics coming back, and the sadness I felt for the Kings going away has passed. Now, I’m just tired of hearing about the it’s on and it’s off flip flopping.

  • roscoe

    i thought this was already settled.

    everyone on SLAM’s forums were claiming SEA was a done deal.

    hmm… this ain’t close to done.

  • akl09

    All this flip flopping, its starting to sound like Dwight Howard before he left Orlando.

  • majic

    we going to keep the team seattle. the board aint goona accept the relocation. the maloofs walked away from a perfectly legit deal they had with the city and it aint happening again

  • MasterSplinter

    Seattle will have a team next year. As much money as Kevin Johnson has been able to come up with, Seattle’s primary potential owner has more than almost all of investors in the Sacramento deal combined. It is in the NBA’s best interest to sell to Seattle. Why would you sell Puma to Reebok just to stay relevant, when Nike can put the necessary money in to brightening Puma’s future (No disrespect to Puma). Like Stern said, he can’t see both Cities happy with the outcome, but Seattle just makes more sense financially, and has a better plan. Sacramento is just doing the minimum to keep a team in their city. Fans have to remember, David Stern is about the dollar bill. The NBA is a business. He thinks with his head, not his heart, as much as I dislike the man.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    one of these two cities kept getting lead on.

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