Kings Blog and Q&A

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

April 4, 2013
More late-night stuff on Kings, Steinberg, Sacramento, Seattle

Not that the Kings/arena/relocation ordeal couldn't become much dramatic, but here are a few other thoughts and observations after revisiting Wednesday's events in New York and reaching out to sources:

• Why did NBA Commissioner David Stern appear so exhausted? Well, he is. The league's longtime top-ranking executive, who retires on Feb. 1, 2014, has been intimately involved with Sacramento's attempts to build a new facility since 2006. Frankly, I think the league should devote an entire staff to dealing with arena issues that will continue to affect the NBA as long as franchises exist in 29 cities. Buildings get old. Owners go broke. It happen. Anyway, the last thing Stern wanted was a bruising battle between two terrific cities for one team. With Ron Burkle, Vivek Ranadive, Mark Mastrov and the Jacobs family strengthening Sacramento's attempt to keeps its only major professional sports franchise, this is like asking Stern and his owners to split the baby. Ouch.

• No one - ok, maybe Kevin Johnson - really entertained the notion that four major investors could be lured to the capital city in time to make a serious, deadly serious bid to buy the Kings and partner in a private/public partnership. While Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and the league's lawyers are aware of all the details, most of the owners are too busy tending their own franchises - particularly during playoff drives - to snoop into the business of the other teams. So, yes, don't be surprised if members of the finance/relocation committee were receptive to the power of persuasive, and the charisma of the KJ-led group that includes state Senate pro tem leader Darrell Steinberg.

• Steinberg, who was extremely passionate about Sac's bid to keep the Kings and build a downtown sports and entertainment complex at the Downtown Plaza when reached late Wednesday in New York, seemed to be referring to the loss of redevelopment funds and its impact on the capital city when he offered these thoughts: "We want to encourage urban infill, transit-oriented developments, urban revitalization projects that create jobs and help urban centers, and we're willing to to whatever is reasonable to reduce the regulation burden."

• Here is the list of commitee members/owners who were present at the St. Regis Hotel in New York: Peter Holt (San Antonio), Glen Taylor (Minnesota), Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City), James Dolan (New York Knicks), Ted Leonsis (Washington), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto), Herb Simon (Indianapolis) and Wyc Grousbeck (Boston). Note, four the above oversee small or mid-market franchises.

• Finally, there is this: With several of its teams up for sale, and the usual ownership issues ongoing in various cities, the last thing the league wants is the relocation of a once-celebrated and established franchise, Seattle and Steve Ballmer's merits notwithstanding. Again, moving forward, and assuming Sacramento's arena deal is locked down, watch for the "e" word - expansion - to enter the conversation. The Kings currently reside in Sac, not Seattle. That's huge.



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