Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

March 26, 2013
More on Kings, Kevin Johnson, NBA, City Council

There were no surprises at the City Council meetings that ended a few hours. Council members voted 7-2 to approve a term sheet detailing the public's contribution to the proposed $448 million downtown sports and entertainment complex, with Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong - both of whom expressed concern about the city's risk and the lack of time to more closely vet the agreement - voting against the agreement.

Tuesday's vote was the latest development in Mayor Kevin Johnson's campaign to keep the Kings in Sacramento. The Maloofs already sold their majority interest in the team to the Seattle-based group headed by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, but the league's other owners (as stated in the NBA by-laws) have to approve all sales and relocations. Within the past several weeks, Johnson, attempting to come up with a counter bid, has put together a potential Kings ownership group that includes billionaire Ron Burkle, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, Golden State Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive and Steve Jacobs, founder of San Diego-based-Qualcomm.

Here are a few other thoughts, quotes and observations from the meeting in the overheated, and overcrowded council chambers:

• Steve Hansen, who was thought to be vacillating about the arena issue, and who some thought would vote against the term sheet, instead gave a very impassioned explanation for his pro-arena vote. He cited the potential for jobs and economic growth, and added, "We have four billionaires who have said that Sacramento is worthy. It's been a long time since people have validated us in this way."

• Johnson, a former All-Star, said he intended to call David Stern despite the time difference and the fact the NBA Commissioner was not feeling well.

• Burkle spokesman Darius Anderson, who addressed the council and took a swipe at Seattle for attempting to steal the Kings, said the four major investors will accompany Johnson to New York for his April 3 presentation to Stern and members of the league's finance and relocation committees. The ownership subset thereafter will evaluate both Seattle and Sacramento situations and make a recommendation to the entire Board of Governors. The owners will vote at the April 18-19 meetings, also in Manhattan.

• Ranadive, No.3 in the Warriors ownership hierarchy, spoke with several media members on Monday. However, late Tuesday night, a GSW spokesman said it was unclear whether Ranadive would attend Wednesday's Kings-Warriors game at Oracle Arena.

• Councilman Jay Schenirer participated on a speaker phone from Morocco, where he was on a long-planned vacation with his family.

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