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Tag:Kevin Johnson
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Mayor Johnson: Billionaire wants to buy Kings

Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento, says that a billionaire has emerged to purchase the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Have fans of the Sacramento Kings been thrown a lifeline? One day after the team closed its regular season at home in front of a teary crowd, Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento, has raised a possible alternative to the franchise relocating to Anaheim.

Johnson wrote on Twitter that billionaire Ron Burkle, who is a co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, is "very interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento." Johnson is currently in New York City to make a presentation to the NBA's Board of Governors as are the Maloof brothers, the team's current ownership group.

A firm representing Burkle issued a press release on Thursday, via SacTown Royalty, stating his intentions.
"The Maloofs have been strong owners and a positive part of the Sacramento community for years, but it is important that Kings fans and residents of the Sacramento region know that the Burkle Group is ready to commit the resources and expertise necessary to keep the NBA in Sacramento. Our group believes Sacramento is an important NBA market that can thrive with new ideas, new resources and an absolute commitment to delivering the best on and off-court experiences for fans.
"This group, led by Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, is prepared to assist the Mayor by bringing significant resources and the best possible expertise in professional sports, facilities development and financing to bear in the effort to keep Sacramento as an NBA city."
Will Burkle be able to swoop in like Superman to save the day? That's unclear. One key issue: How viable are the Maloof brothers? In recent years, they've sold off their other businesses, taken a huge hit in their Las Vegas casinos, laid off Kings employees, taken out a big loan from the NBA and a huge part of their plan to relocate to Anaheim was centered around up-front money they would receive in the deal as well as long-term television revenue. 

The Maloofs need the NBA's Boad of Governors to approve their relocation plan to Anaheim. That group is also capable of levying a major relocation fee. There has been some pushback around the league about the Kings relocating to Anaheim because it would place three NBA franchises in Southern California. 

SI.com reports that Burkle's interest isn't short-lived but that the Maloofs are reluctant to part with the Kings.
Burkle been working on this for weeks. When KJ told Stern he had a possible buyer, the commish made crack about it being a local car dealer. If, however, the good ol' boys club decides that they're not viable, then there could be pressure to sell. That's where Burkle comes in. All that being said, they really have been adamant that they would not sell the team.
Right now, this feels like a Hail Mary, which is exactly what CBSSports.com's Ken Berger called it on Twitter
Sac Mayor Kevin Johnson unleashed Hail Mary today in his bid to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Ron Burkle wants to buy team, keep it in Sac. "We felt good about it," said Darius Anderson, who is with Burkle's proposed ownership group. "We're just trying to present alternatives." But the Burkle plan was met with skepticism in the owners's executive committee meeting. "Too little, too late," one team rep said.
Bloomberg.com reported on Thursday that Gavin Maloof was asked about the possibility of a Burkle bid and said simply: "We are not selling."

The NBA and its individual owners do have a vested interest in both keeping franchises in their current cities and finding self-sustaining ownership groups. Johnson knows that, and his pitch will likely be greeted with open arms by everyone except the Maloofs, who now face all sorts of new questions and complications. Johnson's plan clearly succeeded in one major way: it turned what the Maloofs had hoped would be a discreet process into a battle involving the court of public opinion.
Posted on: March 28, 2011 8:10 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Sacramento official issues letter to Anaheim

City manager for Sacramento sends a letter to his counterpart in Anaheim, discussing money that would be owed to Sacramento if the city of Anaheim does not "cease negotiating" with the Kings
Posted by Matt Moore

Enter the lawyers. 

The Sacramento Bee reports that officials for the city of Sacramento have sent a letter to officials in Anaheim ordering them to "cease negotiating with the Kings", and repeatedly brings up the $77 million the Kings owe the city of Sacramento:
Sacramento city officials have sent a letter to Anaheim telling that city to cease its negotiations with the Sacramento Kings, and asking the Anaheim City Council not to vote on issuing $75 million in bonds Tuesday or take any other actions to induce the Kings to move to Anaheim.
The letter, issued minutes ago by assistant city manager John Dangberg, says if Anaheim insists on continuing negotiations with the Kings, Sacramento "must contractually require" the Kings to pay off the estimated $77 million the team owes the city of Sacramento.
via Kings Blog and Q&A: City of Sacramento directs Anaheim to stop negotiations with Kings.

Kaboom. 

The letter has three requests for Anaheim. One, to not authorize issuance of Bonds for the renovation of the Honda Center. Two, to cease negotiations with the Kings. And if they choose to continue such discussions, to make any move dependent on the Kings repaying the $77 million to Sacramento. That of course dwarfs the money the Kings would owe in relocation fees and the $50 million loan Samueli has discussed loaning the Maloofs. 

This letter is of course the precursor to suit in the event that negotiations continue and the Kings do file for relocation. The city's latest proposal fell flat on its face, but this letter makes it apparent they have little intention of going down completely quietly. What, if any, merit this course of action will garner in court isn't known at this time, but it's definitely a scare tactic to try and get the crows away from the soon-to-be carcass of professional basketball in Sacramento. 
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:50 am
 

The Anaheim situation

As the mayor discusses the "slow death" of the Kings in Sacramento, Anaheim faces budget questions about renovations to the Honda Center to facilitate a relocation.
Posted by Matt Moore





This is becoming less of a fight for fans to keep the team they love and more a funeral dirge. Tuesday night Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson posted on his website comments that sound very much like a surrender regarding the Kings' prospective relocation to Anaheim: 
It feels like a slow death.

From the start of the saga that may soon close the Kings’ era in Sacramento, I have said the community should focus on what it can control, and not worry about decisions that are out of our hands.

The decision to move a business – let’s not forget, the Kings are a business – rests with the owners. We can talk and do our best to persuade, but in the end, the choice to relocate belongs to the people who own the team.

Of course, none of this makes it any easier to watch the steady drip of what will likely be the Kings’ final weeks in Sacramento after 26 years.

...

Meantime, Sacramento fans take the high road.

Thanks to the fans and groups like Here We Stay, I want to keep fighting to keep the Kings. But another part of me wants this painful drama to end.
via Watching Kings prepare to leave is like slow death > kevinjohnson.com > Kevin's Blog.

Not exactly words of comfort. Even as fans organize rallies and events to try and plea to the Kings, the NBA, the Basketball Gods, someone to keep their team in Sactown, civic leadership is starting to try and prepare the fanbase for the death of the team as they know it. Johnson followed up the comments by talking about the future and the possibility of a new team. But that's too bitter a pill for the fans to consider swallowing. So instead they debate boycots and try and deal with the realities of the situation.

Meanwhile, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait spoke at a city council meeting Tuesday night and was downright giddy about the prospect of acquiring the Kings and the progress in that area. 
 
"The good news is that we are continuing to move closer to bringing a professional basketball team to Anaheim," Tait said. "Because there are ongoing discussions and negotiations, I have just a few details to share tonight. More information will be forthcoming in the next week or so."
via Anaheim mayor says city 'closer' to getting Kings | council, kin - News - The Orange County Register.

Perhaps the only good news for Sacramento fans is that the Anahaeim city council voted to delay discussion of bond funding for arena improvements necessary for an NBA team to relocate to the Honda Center. And there are citizens who are very upset at the prospect of throwing money at renovations for an NBA team with a budget crisis.  Sacramento fans' best hope to keep the team is for the process of aligning relocation prospects to drag on past the April 18th deadline for the Maloofs to file for relocation, keeping the team in the city for another year, and providing civic leadership yet another opportunity to resolve a new arena plan. 

But at this point, that's not seeming likely. The wheels are moving, even if the gears are grinding in places. Sacramento fans have nothing they can do but sit and watch as the team is torn out from underneath them. 

If it feels like watching a death, that's because it is. 

From the comments section at Sactown Royalty:
I will be a casual NBA fan from now on. I could never care about another team the way I've cared about this one.
via A Quick Word On Efforts To Boycott A Game - Sactown Royalty.

Welcome to David Stern's NBA paradise, where the NBA cares about its fans, as long as you live in a suitably large market. 
Posted on: January 7, 2011 9:34 am
 

Shootaround 1.7.11: Rodney Stuckey likes unicorns

Terrence Williams may see the floor, Yao Ming may not retire, and Rodney Stuckey likes unicorns (not really), all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

Terrence Williams may finally get some burn in Houston. We remain skeptical, since two different coaches have yanked his playing time away. Surprising fall for the swing man. 

The Kings may be in a selling mood, but don't count Omri Casspi among the items on the front lawn. 

Even after surgery.... again, Yao Ming may not be planning on retiring.  Worse still than retiring though would be being one of those players who can't find a team to sign you because of your injury concerns.  We hope the best for Yao, but in the event that his career can't get righted, we hope he is smart enough to take the high road out.

Nets fans had low expectations of Sasha Vujacic when he arrived in the Terrence Williams trade. But he's making a believer out of them now. He hit the game winner the other night in a huge home win over the Bulls

Need4Sheed exposes Rodney Stuckey's twitter account as a bot with the headline: "Rodney Stuckey: 'I like unicorns, Cotton Candy, Star Trek and Harry Potter movies.'" 

Carlos Boozer was not exactly thrilled with being benched for the final 14 minutes in the Bulls' loss to the Nets the other night. 

In short, the Magic have a very balanced offense since the mega-trade. 

Mayor Kevin Johnson in Sacramento put together a task force towards getting a new arena. It erupted into a verbal skirmish this week. Yeah, things are going that well. 

Tyler Hansbrough will start at power forward for the Pacers, a sign of the desperation mounting in Indiana. 

Suddenly Jodie Meeks being back in the lineup is a big deal. Strange times. 
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: November 8, 2010 12:10 pm
 

Shootaround 11.8.10: Right and Wrong

J.O.'s knee not quite right, Kevin Garnett not quite wrong in the head, and a murder suspect busted in Charlotte, all in today's Shootaround.Posted by Matt Moore
  • Oh, those sneaky Celtics. It seems they snuck a Jermaine O'Neal surgery under our very noses . J.O. certainly has seemed a step behind in terms of explosiveness and strength in the paint. But to be honest, we just chalked it up to age. Apparently there was an actual reason, which means he could improve, which means the Celtics could get stronger, which is just terrifying.
  • A Minnesotan discussion of Kevin Garnett's behavior, in which it's argued he's the most genuine athlete alive . I'm not buying it. Garnett isn't driven to these things out of passion, they're calculated maneuvers. That's why he doesn't end up in fights, instead walking away with his hands up after starting something. Intense, sure, but just as deliberate as the outraged opera star on stage.
  • A murder suspect was captured in the VIP section of the Bobcats game against Orlando Saturday. Seriously. Pretty scary because there were so many people around in the public event. Pretty funny because of all the jokes you can make of "Well, if you want to be hidden from people..."
  • Brandon Jennings with some disturbing comments about the locker room chemistry in Milwaukee that's helped lead to the 2-5 start they're off to. Jennings is still learning how to be a vocal leader, but he needs to take the step and say to his teammates what he's telling the press.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com