The owners of the Sacramento Kings are meeting with NBA officials right about now to explain why they’ve backed away from the arena deal they just agreed to back in February. The Maloof brothers’ hope, presumably, is that the rest of the league will either come down on their side and demand that somebody else (the city of Sacramento, AEG, statistically probable alien creatures) pay the $3 million in pre-development costs that the Maloofs say they won’t pay, or that the NBA itself cough up the dough.
Meanwhile, a group of Sacramento business people is firing off a letter to the NBA demanding that the league find new owners for the Kings, as this lot appears to be broken. (Paraphrasing here.)
As SBNation’s Tom Ziller notes, the NBA doesn’t really have the leverage to wrest the team away from the Maloofs, since they’re still making payroll and all. Yet as Ziller doesn’t say outright, the league could do the next best thing: Tell the Maloofs that this is the best deal they’re going to get, and if they don’t take it, nobody’s getting any approvals to move to Anaheim or Seattle or nowhere, see?
The NBA owners’ meetings wrap up tomorrow, so it’s reasonable to expect some kind of decision by then, though not necessarily reasonable to expect a public statement on said decision. The Sacramento city council meets yet again next Tuesday, though, to decide whether to move ahead with the deal or kill it, so push is going to have to come to shove pretty soon.