Scott Howard-Cooper's post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia
Kevin Johnson gets high marks for his handling of the Kings mess the last several years. But a few points off...
his press conference today in response to the potential sale and move to Seattle.
1. If it was possible to put a group together to buy the team and keep it in Sacramento, where has this group been? If it really is possible to make a last-second full-court shot, the mayor would have been wise to draw that one up when there was a chance to do something about it. His strategy of waiting out the Maloofs was always risky. Today is why.
2. There may not be a chance to do something about it. For one thing, the Seattle group could close the deal soon, before the Sacramento offer is close to formed. For another, mega-deals like this can include a window of exclusivity. It is possible Hansen-Ballmer stipulated no negotiations with other parties for a certain period of time. Johnson saying he wants to try to make an offer is much different from being able to make an offer.
3. It's not just the previously nonexistent Sacramento group being able to match or beat the reported $500 million from Hansen-Ballmer-Seattle. It's the $500 million plus needing another, oh, $200M to $300M for their share of a new arena in Sacramento. This money is floating around where?
4. Mayor KJ may have very little, if any, inside information on how this is developing. The Maloofs kept him out of the loop when they were closing in on a deal with Anaheim. They certainly would keep him out of the loop now that the relationship has gone really, really bad. When one of Johnson's top advisors (at the time) says dealing with the Maloofs is like dealing with North Korea, with no rebuke from KJ, that pretty much ended any chance for courtesy updates.
Bottom line: If Johnson had a new proposal to make, whether on the ownership front or a revised arena plan, he would have made it before the Maloofs made their move. At least let's hope he would have.