Kings owners announce NBA franchise to stay

Kings owners announce NBA franchise to stay
May 2, 2011, 3:14 pm
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May 2, 2011KINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEO
CSNBayArea.com staff

The Kings are staying in Sacramento, confirming what a source told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area Sunday night.

An official statement was released by Maloof Sports and Entertainment, the team's owners, at 9 a.m.

According to the Orange County Register, the Maloof family told officials from Anaheim Arena Management, representatives of the building that would have been the Kings' new home, of their intent to stay early Monday morning.

Also Monday, co-owner George Maloof told The Sacramento Bee that, "We are heading back to Sacramento. It was a tough decision. Ticket holders were reaching out to us, and it was the right thing to do to give it a shot at one more season."

The move came hours before a league-imposed 2 p.m. deadline for the Kings to file a formal request to relocate the team for the coming season.

A source close to the discussions toldComcast SportsNet on Sunday that the NBA had told the Maloofs to expect the Kings to stay in Sacramento next year, all but assuring the status quo for the team.

"I think it's the fair thing to do," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said. "We've always said we think Sacramento has the best NBA fans in the world. Their overwhelming show of support was incredible. But now they realize that we're giving them another opportunity and we're anxious to play basketball.""We spent 13 years and millions of dollars to try to get an arena built. We don't have the answer. The mayor has the answers and we're willing and able to listen. He's got to have a plan. We never want to be untruthful to the fans of Sacramento. There is a sense of urgency, and that's up to mayor Johnson and his political team."Last week league commissioner David Stern indicated that he was awaiting a report from a committee dispatched to Sacramento to attempt to verify corporate pledges the city had solicited as part of a full-court press by mayor Kevin Johnson.

"There's a small NBA task force on the ground seeing whether certain assurances that the mayor gave us about community support for the team -- were they to stay for one more year to develop a plan for a building -- can be reduced to writing in some shape or form," Stern told a national radio show on Wednesday. "The Maloofs have until May 2 to apply to relocate."

Last week, Sacramento's corporate community handed NBA representatives deposits on more than 10 million in sponsorship pledges for the Kings to stay at least another year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.