Click the LISTEN button to hear Ben's report from
Dallas and Seattle sports reporter Art Thiel with some speculation
about what may or may not come out of today's meeting (from
Sacramento or Seattle? Of all the questions facing NBA
owners about the future of the Sacramento Kings, this one is the
most likely to be decided on today as the Board of Governors meet
in Dallas. The meetings started at about 11 a.m. PT.
But it's possible that not everything will be resolved today
NBA owners are expected to hear presentations from the
Sacramento and Seattle groups trying to buy the Kings. Mayor
Kevin Johnson and investors Vivek Ranadive and Mark Friedman will
represent Sacramento. And after that, the Board of Governors
is expected to vote on whether to allow the Kings to relocate to
This morning Kings co-owner George Maloof met with NBA
Commissioner David Stern and an attorney from the NBA. The meeting
took place in the atrium of the Hilton Anatole Hotel and lasted 45
minutes. Maloof declined to comment on the substance of the
conversation, but did say he would talk "after the show."
The league's relocation committee has unanimously recommended
a "No" vote on that question. But a couple of late
developments over the last week, including a sharply increased
offer from the Seattle group, may have caused some owners to
If relocation is approved, it's likely owners would then
approve the sale to the Seattle investor group. If not, then
it's unclear what will happen.
Sacramento fans hope the Kings current owners, the Maloof
family, will agree to sell the team to an investor group put
together by Mayor Kevin Johnson. That group has promised to
keep the Kings in Sacramento and has reached a deal with the city
to build an arena at the Downtown Plaza mall.
"People know we've been talking with the Sacramento group" as
a backup, George Maloof told Capital Public Radio during a brief
chat in the Dallas hotel's lobby Tuesday night.
But the league can't force the Maloofs to sell to the
Sacramento group, even if relocation is denied. And the
Maloofs have spent the last few weeks raising questions about
Sacramento's offer - even suggesting they won't sell to the
Meanwhile, the Seattle group says it has a backup offer with
the Maloofs to buy a minority stake in the team if owners reject
relocation. Under that scenario, which is not considered a
likely outcome, the Maloofs and Seattle investors would negotiate
in good faith with the city on a potential downtown arena.
George Maloof says his family is open to the team remaining in
Sacramento - and remaining the team's owners. He also says
they're open to a downtown arena, though he hasn't seen the plan
negotiated between Sacramento city officials and the Sacramento
Maloof says his family still loves Sacramento - even if
Sacramento doesn't love them.