Sac begins pitch to NBA execs to keep Kings

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Sac begins pitch to NBA execs to keep Kings

April 21, 2011
KINGSPAGE KINGSVIDEO

SACRAMENTO (AP) Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and other political and business leaders emerged from meetings with NBA officials Thursday optimistic about their efforts to keep the Kings in town.A week after Johnson made a desperate pitch to the NBA Board of Governors in New York that persuaded the league to dispatch a fact-finding team to Sacramento, the mayor believes he made another splash when they arrived. He presented 9.2 million in commitments for new advertising, ticket purchases and other financial support from regional businesses and other backers to prevent the team from moving to Anaheim.Johnson said his pitch to Clay Bennett, the Oklahoma City Thunder owner and the NBA's relocation committee chairman, and league attorney Harvey Benjamin made a strong impression. He originally promised 7 million to league owners and NBA Commissioner David Stern.
NEWS: Sac makes new case for keeping Kings
"If you go back a week ago from today, we thought it was virtually over," said Johnson, a former NBA All-Star. "And not only did we prevent the team from leaving, we got a chance to show them who we are. And when we said 7 million, and the commissioner said, 'Well, prove it,' he sent a team out and we over delivered. I mean, this is Sacramento. This is what makes us great."The meetings began two days of talks with the two NBA representatives.Johnson, Bennett and Benjamin first met in California's Capitol in the office of Senate President Darrell Steinberg. That meeting included local political leaders.
RATTO: Could Barkley and Webber buy the Kings?
They later met at the U.S. Bank tower downtown with business leaders, including Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce President Matt Mahood. The relocation team headed by Bennett, who moved the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City three years ago, also was expected to tour proposed sites for a new arena.The pitch by business and political leaders centered on a regional effort - not just one by city of Sacramento, as in the past - to increase team sponsorship and finance a new arena."Sacramento put a stake in the ground today saying the Kings need to stay," Mahood said.
RELATED: Kings' relocation application deadline extended
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have until May 2 to request permission to relocate to Anaheim. After years of failed efforts to replace outdated Power Balance Pavilion, formerly called Arco Arena, Sacramento officials are using the extra time to show the NBA that they can finally agree on a plan to finance a new facility.A new arena feasibility plan - the major sticking point in past efforts - won't be completed until a few weeks after the relocation deadline. A majority approval by owners would be needed to approve the move, and political leaders in Sacramento believe there's still time to convince the NBA the Kings shouldn't leave."I don't think they have made up their minds," City Councilman Rob Fong said.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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