It appears the Sacramento Kings are for sale, according to Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Johnson, in a brief press conference Wednesday afternoon, addressed the reignited relocation rumors. This time, the Maloofs are reportedly finalizing a deal to move the team to Seattle.
“We’ve been here before,” Johnson told reporters, referencing other times the Kings were rumored to relocate to Anaheim or Virginia Beach. Nothing ever materialized from those rumors.
Johnson said that if the team is for sale, he will “make every effort” to find buyers that will keep the team in Sacramento. He added that he regularly speaks with billionaire business magnate Ron Burkle.
The city’s pursuit of new ownership will intensify following Wednesday’s news.
Johnson later released his prepared statement from the press conference. Here it is in it’s entirety:
“Today is a significant day for our community because for the first time it appears that the Kings are for sale. This is significant because for the past 27 years the community has staunchly supported both the NBA and the Kings. Last year, the City presented a deal that was approved by the NBA that would keep the Kings in Sacramento, increase the value of the franchise, and create additional jobs and economic growth in Sacramento and the region as a whole. Following in the steps of our previous efforts, I plan on making every effort to identify a potential buyer that would ensure the Kings remain in Sacramento.”
Seattle Mayor Mike NcGinn said Wednesday morning in an unrelated press conference that there is nothing confirmed. McGinn added that everything he knew about the rumored deal he learned on social media.