So let’s get this out of the way first this morning: No, the Sacramento Kings haven’t been sold. In fact, though it didn’t seem possible, the rumors around the fate of the former Kansas City-Omaha Kings/Cincinnati Royals/Rochester Royals have if anything gotten even murkier:
- Everybody on the planet is now rumored to be looking to buy the team from the Maloof brothers. Or at least everybody in or near Sacramento: the owner of Sleep Train Mattress Center (which recently bought naming rights to the Kings arena), perpetual rumored-Kings-buyer Ron Burkle, a couple of other local guys either loaded with money or friends with people who are, and of course Seattle hopeful Chris Hansen. Then there’s JMA Ventures, owner of a downtown Sacramento mall, who say they want to work on building an arena on their site if somebody else buys the team, or maybe they’d buy the team themselves, or something.
- Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’s still willing to spend $255 million toward a new arena, though there remains the problem that that $255 million partly comes from “to be determined,” which was a large part of the reason why the Kings owners freaked out and backed away from it last April.
- There’s still that report that the Maloofs only want to sell the Kings if they can keep a percentage of the team and still have a say in how it’s run. Though other reports have indicated the Maloofs would give up on retaining control (pretty much everything reported the last few days has been contradicted by someone else somewhere), this certainly could prove a stumbling block, as it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to have the Maloofs as an active partner at this point.
- Radio talk show host and NBA writer Ric Bucher reported Saturday that the Maloofs are considering “a threat to take the sweetheart deal still waiting for them in Orange County and, should the other owners not approve the deal out of allegiance to [Jerry] Buss and the [Los Angeles] Lakers, take them to court with an anti-trust suit.’’