Johnson says there is still a "gap" in negotiations between the city and the National Basketball Association over how much money the Kings' owners -the Maloofs- will pay.
JOHNSON: "There's so many moving parts. And, you know, what I could say today and right now…an hour from now it might be slightly different. There's a sensitivity right now. But, I can tell you is there's a good-faith effort on everyone's part."
Johnson does not dispute reports that the total Maloof contribution will be about of $85 million. That would be separate from the $70 million loan the Maloofs must still repay the city.
As for Sacramento's chances, the Mayor is optimistic.
"If you go back a year ago, we were talking about a full-court shot and over the last few months, it might have been a half-court shot. And now I think we're on the free-throw line with an excellent opportunity to sink a couple of free throws. And, uh, Steve Nash is shooting those free throws…not Shaquille O'Neal."
For what it's worth, Nash's career percentage from the line is 90 percent. O'Neal made barely more than half of his.
March 1st is the deadline for the city to prove it has the funding sources and partners needed to build a sports and entertainment facility.