Reporting Tony Lopez
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Just when we thought the kingdom was crumbling, the NBA commissioner has thrown a lifejacket to Kings fans.
NBA Commissioner David Stern says the deal to send the Kings to Seattle is nowhere near a done deal. So, Mayor Kevin Johnson is getting ready to meet with the NBA Board of Governors.
Stern says he has not seen any “purchase agreement” between the Maloofs and Chris Hansen. However, he has met with Hansen. Stern is also expected to meet with Johnson about a month from now during the NBA All-Star weekend. So now is the time for the mayor to make his move.
“The ownership has said that they are going to stay in Sacramento and they’re considering remodeling the old arena,” Stern said on NBA TV last June.
That was then, and this is now.
“The mayor of Seattle came in and told us he was in favor of having a team,” Stern said.
But it wasn’t just any team, it was Sacramento’s team. But the commissioner who has always said, “I love Sacramento,” is not just leaving the door open for a counter-offer, he’s answering the urgent knock from a desperate mayor.
“The mayor of Sacramento has asked me, ‘well, if this comes to pass, could I come in and address the board of governors and the re-location committee?’ and I said ‘always,’” Stern said in a radio interview.
And it looks like Johnson will be well-prepared for that meeting.
On Thursday, Johnson tweeted:
Kings insiders and USA Today writer Sam Amick continue to say the odds of the Kings staying in Sacramento are slim, but Amick points out what I saw from Johnson when I covered him the other night: a quiet confidence that he can put the right people together to get this done.