Another day, another rumor about new Sacramento Kings ownership; but some of today’s news looked good for fans of keeping the team where they are.
“We’re working on it. We’re working on it,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson as FOX 40 cameras chased him to the elevators at the Hyatt Regency with questions about a local buyers’ group for the Kings.
He was headed to a VIP reception for his benefit for Saint Hope Academy Friday night, the non-profit child empowerment organization he started 23 years ago.
Johnson got much more glib later on during the benefit itself with fundraising partner NBA star LeBron James at his side.
“I think one of the themes that has come out clearly is that he (James) wants to be first, wants to do things different. So are you interested in owning a basketball team?” Johnson asked as the audience erupted in laughter and applause. “Seems to fit in the criteria of different and being first. So do my people need to talk to your people?”
With a smile, James did mention pulling out his checkbook and having to check with NBA commissioner David Stern.
Already among the current starting line-up of a group that could challenge a sale of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle:
Ron Burkle, who’s the green grocer – literally. Also, Dale Carlson. He has Sleep Train, his company name, placed on the Kings’ current home, and says he wants to help assemble a local buyer’s group.
And Mark Mastrov – founder of 24 hour Fitness.
So a little more NBA heat in Sacramento than on a normal Friday night, but not enough to officially melt away fears about the future of the ‘Kingdom.’