NBA on Kings’ Anaheim move deadline: Enh, take another two weeks

Sure enough, they punted: On Friday, NBA commissioner David Stern gave the Sacramento Kings a two-week extension until May 2 on their deadline to submit plans to relocate to Anaheim.

Stern credited Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s last-minute plan to have Pittsburgh Penguins owner (and Magic Johnson pal) Ron Burkle buy the team and build a new arena in its current home town — via a “public-private partnership,” which is accepted code for “we haven’t figured it out yet” — as the proximate cause of the delay. “The mayor’s vision we don’t know if it’s real or pie-in-the-sky, but we’ll knock ourselves out finding out over the next few weeks,” said Stern on Friday. “This is very building-focused.”

However, there are also indications that the emergence of the Burkle plan helped provide cover for NBA execs who are still waiting to hear details of the proposed Anaheim move. The L.A. Times reports:

The relocation committee headed by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett will press the Maloofs and Honda Center officials to specify their plans for anticipated television revenue in Anaheim, and to detail arena improvement initiatives for which the city of Anaheim last month authorized $25 million in a $75-million bond package that includes undetermined relocation fees the Maloofs would owe.

That’s a lot of known unknowns, and it’s not obvious which if any of them can be cleared up in two weeks. Anyone want to lay odds on whether this is the last extension the Kings get?

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10 comments on “NBA on Kings’ Anaheim move deadline: Enh, take another two weeks

  1. Nope. Looking more and more like it’s going to be the Sacramento Kings for the 2011-12 season.,0,2275913.story

    The “Keep the Kings” campaign has gathered enough signatures to force the issuance of $75 million in bonds needed for upgrades to Honda Ctr and relocation fees for the Kings to be put to a public vote. Which can happen until the next election. Additionally the second article details how the deal is not very palatable to the NBA owners in Anaheim now that they’ve revealed the TV deal is not a lucrative one with FSN as originally thought, but rather a crap deal with a local Samueli owned station.

  2. Dan is 100% wrong on this and here is why:

    1. The bonds passed by Anaheim are simply a financing conduit for the private investors putting up the money.

    2. The taxpayers are not on the hook for any of this therefore this Sacramento politician is way out of bounds on this.

    If they put it to a vote Anaheim will simply withdraw the bonds and Samueli and his investors will invest their money directly.

    In either case the taxpayers in OC are not on the hook for any of this therefore this is a sweet deal for Anaheim. It will never make it to a vote because the public is not putting any of the money nor are they responsible for a relapse of it.

    Samueli can simply “get around” this problem without an issue.

    The Kings are done in Sacramento, they just do not have the private sector nor the affluent fan base to support the team.

    I give the Maloofs credit for not moving years ago, they stuck it out in Sacramento longer than 99% of owners in the NBA.

    The TV deal is still far better than what they have in Sacramento. 11M compared to 20M a year? Please! That is not even close…

    Good luck to them in Anaheim!

  3. Sid, hate to break it to you, but any bond measure can be required to be put to a vote in Anaheim. Even one that is being financed through private purchases of the bonds since those bonds are being paid back with public funds. This bond measure will be on the June 2012 ballot unless they choose to abandon it. And even if Samueli does decide to finance directly to get around this hurdle (which he has so far shown no inclination to do), there’s still the matter of the owners not approving the move for the other reasons mentioned including a crap TV deal in Anaheim, and questionable financial gains for the league as a whole while violating the territorial rights of two franchises (one of which is arguably the most powerful and influential in the league). Sorry but it looks like Sacramento will get at least until March 2012 to work this all out. Whether they will is still an open question, but the odds of this move happening the off season have taken some very large hits in the last week. So much so that the league is now ordering the team to begin season ticket sales, in Sac for 2011-12.

  4. I have a feeling that the Kings may return in 2012, but I’m sure Vegas would bet that they’re relocating to Anaheim to the Honda Center. The NBA has a billionaire owner in waiting with Henry Samueli (the Maloofs are going to go broke soon, believe it) and with Stern stating to the media that they’re not looking into local ownership, just ownership to keep the team in NOLA. So, I suspect Larry Ellison will purchase the Hornets soon to move them to San Jose.

  5. True they have a billionaire owner (with a questionable past) waiting in Samueli. But there’s also one with an offer on the table in Burkle up in Sacramento.

  6. Of all the activity in Sacramento today — a lot — so far I have seen no indication that the Maloofs want to stay. If forced to stay, I think they’ll do some really weird stuff, such as challenge the league minimum salary.

    I think the Maloofs want to leave, and might even sue to leave if denied. They’re not showing their faces in Sac. Sorry, but that means a lot

  7. The petition Sacramento politicos started in Anaheim was very sleazy. I hope Samueli gets a similar petition going in Sacramento. If they try to raise taxes, study the Sacramento City charter to see what it takes to demand a public vote.

    I don’t care if the tax hike affects “only” tourists. Those taxes NEVER seem to cover the thing they were intended to cover, and the general fund almost always seems to suffer because of it.

    Samueli: Start a petition in Sacramento. If it’s good enough for Stutzman, it should be good enough for you!

  8. Oh I have no doubt they’ll raise a stink, but the end result will be the NBA stripping them of their franchise and selling it to another party who isn’t borderline insolvent, like Burkle.

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