Ron Burkle Won’t Be Part Of Kings’ Ownership

5:36pm: Per's David Aldridge, Burkle will not be directly linked with the building of a downtown arena for the Kings, but rather will only be involved in the economic development of the surrounding area.  Aldridge adds that the "conflict" over Burkle's small stake came up at last week's meeting in New York City.  Despite Burkle's stake being minimal, this development will increase the chances of a successful sale to the Sacramento group if the league rejects the Seattle bid because the Maloof's were uninterested in selling to Burkle "in any form."  Aldridge speculates that Jacobs could step in and fill the void left by Burkle's departure from the group. (Aldridge Twitter links here)

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reminds us, via Twitter, that Burkle cannot be involved with the Kings for the same reason that Jay-Z would have to divest his ownership stake in the Nets if his newly formed agency began to represent NBA players.  Here is the statement from the NBA, courtesy of Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen on Twitter:

"Ron Burkle is no longer part of the Sacramento group because his ownership interest in Relativity Media which has a division that represents NBA players – would violate NBA rules."

3:44pm: Ron Burkle, one of the investors in the Sacramento group trying to keep the Kings in the city, won't take an ownership stake in the franchise if Sacramento keeps the team, according to Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. Due to a conflict of interest, Burkle will instead focus exclusively on building a downtown arena for the team.

A source tells Kasler and Lillis that NBA officials expressed concern about a potential conflict of interest for Burkle last week, since he is a part-owner of Relativity Sports. Relativity, the home of prominent NBA agents Dan Fegan and Happy Walters, represents Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire, and John Wall, among other NBA stars.

With Burkle removed from the ownership picture, Mark Mastrov, Vivek Ranadive, and the Jacobs family (led by Paul Jacobs) will head the group. According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), the development doesn't hurt Sacramento's pitch to the NBA; in fact, it could be a positive sign for Sacramento that the league went to "great lengths" to resolve the potential conflict.

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