Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson doesn't seem interested in letting the Maloofs sell the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle group looking to raise the Supersonics from the ashes without a fight.
Last night, during half time of the Kings' 95-94 victory over the Washington Wizards, Johnson spoke to local media for close to ten minutes, laying out a timeline for having a local ownership group in place to compete with The Hansen/Balmer group in Seattle. Johnson said he hopes to have the group and offer in place by NBA All-Star Weekend next month. Johnson told News10, Sacramento's ABC affiliate, that there are plenty of local investors interested in keeping the Kings in California's capitol.
"There's not one or two, there's multiple people that are interested," Johnson said. "Once it leaked and once it became public that there was a potential deal in Seattle, my phone hasn't stopped ringing. These are people that have significant dollars and these are people that want in at different levels."
Thursday during a press conference before the NBA's lone London game for the season, Commissioner David Stern said there was no sale or purchase agreement that's been submitted to the league. Earlier in the week a representative from AEG, who was a partner in the Sacramento arena plan the Maloofs backed out of last year, said the group was re-engaging the city in arena talks.
Things look significantly better for the city of Sacramento now then they did a week ago when it sounded like the team was as good as gone. Throw in the fact that the Stern and Johnson seem to have a very good relationship and things look better for the Kings. While the NBA would love to have a team back in Seattle, it seems unlikely that they would support such a great fan base having its team ripped from it, especially if Stern and Johnson are close enough that the mayor can continually get Sacramento chances to plead the city's case. In the end however, it's the Maloofs' decision to sell and who to sell to. That has a lot of Kings fans nervous, because well, getting Maloof'd isn't the most term and it's already happened to this fan base a few times. This story is continually evolving and over the next month hopefully we'll have a clearer look at who will be involved in this Sacramento ownership group.
Photo: City of Sacramento