SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The NBA Relocation Committee voted unanimously to block Seattle’s bid to move the Sacramento Kings—a crucial step to keeping the team in town.
Mayor Kevin Johnson was greeted at The Firehouse Restaurant Monday afternoon with a standing ovation as he thanked fans for never giving up.
“People in New York listened and they responded, so let’s give a round of applause for the Sacramento fans,” he said.
It may not be the official victory lap, but it feels that way for fans.
“Just excited and super-proud to be a Sacramentan right now,” said fan Rich Haley.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said he didn’t expect the unanimous vote in an interview Monday, and perhaps more significantly, talked about the Seattle bid in the past tense.
“As strong as the Seattle bid was, and it was very strong, there’s some benefit that it should be given to a city that has supported us for so long,” Stern said.
The mayor cautioned several times that the deal isn’t done yet, comparing Sacramento to a team that’s only won a playoff round and still has more hurdles ahead.
“We do not want to dance in the end zone and celebrate prematurely. We want to be thankful for where we are today,” Johnson said.
With the final vote from the NBA more a few weeks away, all signs point to the Kings staying in Sacramento.