NBA delay Kings decision

April 17, 2011 - 0:0

The future home of the Sacramento Kings remains uncertain after the NBA opted to continue its review of the franchise's plans to move and to extend the date for a relocation application to May 2.

Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof want to switch the team to Anaheim in Orange County while Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, has been fighting to keep the team in his city.
A local billionaire, Ronald Burkle, who is a co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, has said he wants to buy the team and keep them in the Californian capital. However, the Maloofs have insisted they do not wish to sell.
Having reviewed the cases made by the mayor and the owners, the NBA's board voted to give its Relocation Committee more time to look into the issues.
""We had a really long discussion about the Sacramento relocation application and there were good presentations made by ... both groups,"" NBA commissioner David Stern told a news conference.
""The newly appointed chairman of the Relocation Committee, Clay Bennett, is going to lead some fact-finding efforts to determine if certain of the inducements to stay in Sacramento, raised by the Mayor of Sacramento, can be reduced to certainty and also whether some of the incomplete documentation in relation to Anaheim can be wrapped up as well.
""So while that goes on and the Relocation Committee weighs this and will report back to the board, the board voted to extend to May 2nd the formal date for the Kings to make an application to relocate,"" said Stern.
While Johnson has rallied business support in Sacramento for the team, Stern said the main problem in that market was the state of the team's arena.
""The issue first and foremost in Sacramento is whether there's the will or the ability to build a new arena for the team and other events,"" Stern added.
However he also indicated a lack of clarity in the proposal to switch to southern California.
""The terms of the relocation to Anaheim were not fully understood by the committee,"" said Stern who also suggested that the region, which already has two teams in Los Angeles, may not be able to support a third franchise.
Mayor Johnson said he saw three ways in which the NBA could remain in Sacramento -- with the Maloofs changing their mind over a move; opting to sell to a new owner who would keep the team in the city; or, should the franchise move, a new team would be brought to the city.
""My commitment at the end of the day is that we have a team in Sacramento and that we maintain our relationship with the NBA going forward,"" Johnson added.
(Source: Reuters)