After being kept on the proverbial bench in the potential sale of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, Mayor Kevin Johnson, it seems, has finally been tapped into the pricing game by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
“The commissioner says that our community has every right to present a counter offer that is fair and competitive,” Johnson told to those gathered to hear the ‘State of Downtown’ address on Tuesday morning.
While details of a sale to Seattle have likely been hammered at by lawyers for months, Johnson has a much shorter time frame to come up with a counter offer and counter-owners to the rumored $525 million dollar price tag to the Hansen-Ballmer group. Talk about buzzer beaters – he’s got just six weeks.
“I spoke to Commissioner Stern over the weekend and I asked him for permission to be able to address the NBA governing board and it was granted. So, once again, Sacramento will get a chance to put our best foot forward,” Johnson said.
There’s some hope this strategy could be a success. If want proof of a successful ownership handoff despite the current owners tactics, look no further than San Francisco. In 1992, a local ownership group stepped forward to buy the San Francisco Giants and got Major League Baseball to stop the team from moving to St. Petersburg, Fla. and built a new stadium – the now famed AT&T Park in a then rundown part of the city.
Johnson sees a path forward and hope in San Francisco’s success.
“We have every reason to believe in our community that we can do the same thing that was done in San Francisco,” Johnson said.