Yesterday, the Kings' owners began making their case to the NBA's Board of Governors that the Sacramento arena plan should be renegotiated, while 25 Sacramento business people sent a letter to NBA commissioner David Stern asking him to consider new ownership for the Kings. Meanwhile, after initially saying the city wouldn't be represented in New York, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson was expected to fly in to join the meetings between the Maloofs and the league. As the drama continues in New York, we'll follow today's updates here, with the latest up top:
- Moving to Anaheim remains an option for the Kings, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Honda Center in Anaheim is undergoing a $20MM renovation to make it "NBA-ready," and Fox Sports West, which is losing Lakers games after this year, would pay a premium for Kings TV rights if they were to move south, Markazi notes (Twitter links).
- League executives are well aware of the Maloofs' financial struggles and wouldn't mind seeing them sell the team, says Sam Amick of SI.com in this video. Amick predicts the Maloofs will wind up selling, which he says would please Johnson and the Sacramento fans.
- The Maloofs want to be tenants, not owners, of a new arena, and Johnson believes that means the brothers shouldn't be allowed to share in the arena revenues, tweets J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today.
- The Maloofs released a statement this afternoon that said they're "committed to remaining the Sacramento Kings," Falgoust also tweets. However, Johnson referred to the deal as we know it as "dead," tweets Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
- Johnson addressed the media in New York today, and stated that the Maloofs are "essentially saying they don't want to be in Sacramento" (Twitter link). "Whether the Maloofs have the financial resources or not, I don't know," Johnson said, adding that the city wasn't interested in funding renovations for the current arena (Twitter links).
- Johnson thought the city, league, and team had a "win-win-win" agreement, and if one side doesn't want to honor that agreement, Sacramento has to say "no thank you," according to the mayor (Twitter link). Johnson said he wants Sacramento to remain an NBA city, but he doesn't want it to be held hostage (Twitter link).
- According to the Sacramento mayor, many statements made by the Maloofs in today's press conference were "factually inaccurate," tweets TNT's David Aldridge. Johnson is assuming that the Kings' owners could apply to relocate to Anaheim in a year (Twitter link).
- Stern sounded resigned to the arena deal falling apart, saying this afternoon that he was "hopeful" but "not optimistic," and that there was nothing the league could do at this point.
- Glen Taylor, the chairman of the Board of Governors, told Ken Berger that the Maloofs didn't explicitly say they would file for relocation. However, Taylor added there may be a "gap of trust" now that will prevent the owners and the city from reaching an agreement (all Twitter links). The chairman also said the Maloofs' renovation proposal wasn't considered viable (Twitter link).
- The Maloofs held an eventful press conference in New York today, and Sactown Royalty has an excellent breakdown of the "highlights." The Kings' owners argued that the current deal is not ecomonically feasible and that it's perilious to the city of Sacramento. The Maloofs also said they agreed to the arena framework, but never to an actual deal, and proposed renovations to the Power Balance Pavilion as an alternative to a new arena (despite having argued against renovations for years). While the outlook appears more bleak than ever, George Maloof insists the Kings aren't trying to leave Sacramento.
- Although Johnson will join the meetings, he continues to insist the city isn't willing to renegotiate the term sheet that was initially agreed upon, writes Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.
- The Sacramento mayor wrote a strongly-worded open letter to the Maloofs in which he explained the city's stance. "The best – and only – way to demonstrate that commitment is to honor the "fair deal" as all other parties have done," Johnson concluded. "Your handshake is your handshake. Your promise is your promise."
- The Sacramento Bee itself lent its voice to the group of local business people requesting new ownership, arguing in an editorial piece that Stern needs to replace the Maloofs.
- At Sactown Royalty, Tom Ziller wonders if there's a way for the Maloofs to be satisfied without renegotiating the arena deal.
- The Maloofs are acting as if they want the arena deal to go up in smoke so they can move the team elsewhere, opines Ken Berger.