The Mayor will make a presentation in Dallas, Texas for tomorrow's National Basketball Association Board of Governors' meeting. Johnson says he is confident the NBA owners will vote to keep the team in Sacramento in spite of a recent bid increase for the team made by the Seattle group, "We have been told by the NBA early on this would not be a bidding war and I think there's something that does a disservice to the process and the NBA if you're just gonna always sell to the highest bidder. I mean, what would tell every other small and medium-sized market that "You always have to worry about your franchise." That's not the nature and the spirit of the NBA."
The Mayor made his comments before boarding a flight out of Sacramento International Airport. He says the Maloof family has accepted Sacramento's bid to buy the Sacramento Kings as a backup offer to the Seattle bid.
The Mayor told Capital Public Radio for the first time that the Maloofs are actually responsible for Sacramento still having a chance to keep the team, even though the family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group of investors, "If the Maloofs had not accepted a backup offer, we'd be dead in the water and they allowed a backup offer to be submitted. That's what's kept us in the ballgame. So, anybody who says that they're not willing to sign or do business with Sacramento is just mistaken because they could have shut the door and slammed it on us a long time ago."
Johnson says the Sacramento has done everything the NBA has asked, "I think the NBA understands clearly fans are the lifeblood of this league. Certainly, they give its texture and spirit. Sacramento's demonstrated probably better or as equal to any other NBA city what an NBA team means. And, I don't think it's going to go to the highest bidder and I never believed that."
Johnson says the NBA has asked the Sacramento investors to put 100 percent of its $341 million bid in an escrow account. He is confident that will happen.
The meeting of 30 NBA owners is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.