Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been working hard the past few years to keep the Kings NBA franchise in Sacramento. When the Maloof family attempted to move the franchise to Southern California because of the arena situation, Johnson began campaigning to keep the franchise in the city and vowed to help find investors and corporate sponsors to make it feasible for the team to stay.
On Friday night Commissioner David Stern spoke with the media and basically said Sacramento and the NBA are a wrap because the city wasn’t able to do what it needed to in order to keep the franchise.
Speaking to reporters before the Golden State Warriors hosted the Houston Rockets, Stern said the Sacramento group’s offer has some “very strong financial people behind it but it is not quite there in terms of a comparison to the Seattle bid.” He added that “unless it increases, it doesn’t get to the state of consideration.”
The league has scheduled a meeting April 3 in New York to avoid rushing debate on the issue. Representatives from Sacramento and Seattle will have a chance to present their case at that meeting, Stern said.
The NBA Board of Governors will convene April 18, when a vote is expected to take place on the sale and relocation of the Kings franchise. A sale of a franchise requires a three-fourths majority approval of owners, while relocation requires just a simple majority.
The Sacramento group is being led by 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire grocery tycoon Ron Burkle. My money is on Seattle winning this out. It’s been two years and nothing the city has done thus far was able to alter the course.