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Billionaire Burkle Met With NBA Commissioner Stern About Kings

Sacramento KingsThe Sacramento Kings saga is far from over. While the sale to the Hansen/Baller group from Seattle is “imminent“, the city of Sacramento continues to fight. Mayor Kevin Johnson is working on keeping this team in the capital of California.

And there is one proposal that is trying to do that. Los Angeles mogul Ron Burkle met with NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday, according to Sam Amick of USA Today:

Los Angeles-based billionaire and prospective owner of the Sacramento Kings, Ron Burkle, met with NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday in New York City, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Burkle — the supermarket mogul who is part owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins — has been planning to make a competing bid with fellow money man Mark Mastrov, the Northern California-based founder of 24-Hour Fitness, in an attempt to convince the NBA to keep the team in Sacramento. The goal all along from the Sacramento side has been to force the NBA into a tough decision by putting together an arena plan and a bid that’s competitive with the Hansen-Ballmer group.

As mentioned in the article, Mark Mastrov is going to make a competing bid along with Burkle to keep the team in Sacramento.

The news first came out about the Maloofs selling the team earlier this month. The relocation committee has already been contacted about the move and the Seattle group is expected to file for relocation before the March 1st deadline.

And while Mayor Johnson is putting up a valiant fight and has buyers lining up for the Kings, will that be good enough? The Board of Governors can choose what it wants in terms of who can buy the Kings but it would be a very tough decision to make.

Commissioner Stern and several team owners look at the Sonics leaving as a mistake. The Kings moving to Seattle would certainly rectify that but they don’t want another team leaving another city. Seattle does have a bigger television market than Sacramento and the arena will be financed while Sacramento is still working on their arena deal.

No matter what, Sacramento will continue to keep fighting. I just wish there was a way to have teams in both Sacramento and Seattle.

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Rey Moralde is a Southern California native who has a passion for basketball, old-school video games, sushi, and terrible pop music.

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