NEW ORLEANS -- By time the Kings arrived at New Orleans Arena for today's game against the New Orleans Hornets, the news that the Maloofs had agreed to sell the team to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen had made the rounds through the team.
The sale has to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors. NBA commissioner David Stern has already said Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson would have the opportunity to present a local ownership group with a new arena plan to keep the team in Sacramento.
So the uncertainty remains and players don't know if they'll be playing in Seattle or Sacramento next season.
Below is reaction to the news:
Kings coach Smart on the impact on players:
"They're going to get saturated with so much coming at them and you've got to get them to try and focus. For the two hours we have to focus in a practice or in a game we're out of the equation. It's our families and possibly moving, kids in school and things like that and trying to keep the players focused."
"Also there's a big pull on everyone else as well. People that work for the organization in other capacities."
On communication with the Maloofs during the process:
"They've been great with me. The family has been really good with me in letting me know what's happening with the team, what's happening as a support factor. Outside of that they couldn't say a whole lot. They could only tell us based on what they understood."
Isaiah Thomas, who grew up in Tacoma, near Seattle:
"I was a Sonics fan. I've been through losing a team and seeing what it does to a city. I've told people before I don't wish that on any city because it's hard losing a team."
On being a fan when the Sonics moved to OKC
"It was hard. At the same time before they were leaving you really didn't think about it too much. But then when they left it was like everybody was lost in the city. You had football and baseball but basketball was that thing in Seattle. It was tough for the fans there. I don't wish that on any city, especially for a team that's been there for a while, it's hard. For a city like Sacramento where all they have is a basketball team it's tough so I feel for them."
Aaron Brooks, who is from Seattle, on the fans in Sacramento:
"The fans are good despite our record and we still get good attendance and they're supportive. Some good fans. Playing against Sacramento we always had a hard time winning there."