Mayor KJ: Kings ‘Likely’ Moving to Anaheim

Kevin Johnson strongly believes that Sacramento is about to lose its NBA team to Anaheim. From “Sacramento moved perilously closer Thursday to losing the Kings as Mayor Kevin Johnson, the most prominent figure working to keep the civic institution in town, conceded that it is ‘more likely they’re going to be in Anaheim.’ Johnson, the former All-Star point guard, used the word ‘extremely’ when asked about the likelihood of the Kings becoming the third NBA team in Southern California, before stopping in mid-sentence in an apparent attempt to interject any measure of hope. But he also noted of his hometown: ‘I don’t think Sacramento can influence the outcome of their decision.’ He meant owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, and he’s right. That the Kings zeroed in on Anaheim and considered Sacramento a Plan B has been apparent for some time, as the inability to secure a deal to replace the aging Sacramento arena dragged on. For all the reasons that is the wrong time for relocation, the message remains as it has been for weeks: the Maloofs only stay if they can’t get an arrangement they like to share the Honda Center with the NHL Ducks, and even that might be a temporary reprieve. Without any movement toward a new building, the Kings would almost certainly leave in a year, after the lockout and when they would have had another season to improve on the court and become more attractive to a new fan base. That it took the mayor of Sacramento three weeks to get a meeting with the Maloof brothers is the latest in loud statements that the Kings are simply waiting for the right deal in Orange County before making a decision.”