Billionaire grocery store magnate Ron Burkle was perhaps the biggest name in Sacramento's ownership group - but now, he's dropped out of efforts to buy the team and build a arena, due to a conflict of interest. Burkle is expected to remain involved in the crucial development efforts near the downtown arena site that would help finance it.
Filling the void: prominent Sacramento developer Mark Friedman, whose family owns the Arden Fair Mall. "I believe in this community, and I believe in the power of this project to help lift us in a way that perhaps nothing else before - with the possible exception of the Crocker Art Museum - has," Friedman told reporters at City Hall Tuesday, adding that he's been talking with the mayor and the ownership group's lead investors since January.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says both changes came up during his presentation last week to NBA owners. "We don't see this being a hiccup by any means," Johnson said. "So we addressed this with the owners and they were comfortable with it."
The owners will likely decide the Kings' fate late next week.