Sacramento Arena Deal Falls Through: Kings' Focus Turns to Anaheim

Danny HaugerCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

DeMarcus Cousins is one of the young stars of the Kings
DeMarcus Cousins is one of the young stars of the KingsMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For Sacramento Kings fans that were exuberant about the team remaining in California’s capital city came a crushing blow Friday, as NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the arena plan in Sacramento is “not going to happen.” New concerns now arise about the trouble to finance an arena in Sacramento, and the focus shifts back to Anaheim.

"They weren't willing to honor the deal", said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson about the Maloofs during his press conference Friday afternoon. "They were coming up with reasons not to do the deal", said Johnson, describing five days worth for disagreements arising recently about the arena that the Maloofs were not satisfied with.

This new development points strongly to the idea of relocation if possibilities for reconciliation between the city of Sacramento and the Maloofs have been exhausted. Voters had the chance to finance the arena publicly and shot down the referendum years ago, which would make a public opinion on this matter nearly out of options.

Commissioner Stern made the comments at a news conference speaking with the NBA Board of Governors in New York. No promise was made for the Kings to be in Sacramento beyond the 2012-2013 season. He said parties involved have gone as far as they could but have not managed to keep the team in Sacramento.

The agreement in principle has fallen through just as the multi-million dollar upgrades are being made to the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Maloofs have no binding deal in place after 2013.

Just after 2:25 Pacific Time Sacramento Mayor Keven Johnson held a press conference. the Mayor said, "I really was optimistic... it was just not to be, and that's very disappointing". Mayor Johnson stated the Maloofs desire not to renovate Power Balance Pavilion, they wanted a brand new arena. The Mayor added that the downtown plan was the ideal location and failed to identify prospects a renovation plan going forward.

"I think it's fair for Maloofs to say they didn't want to do it," Stern said, adding that "If they did it a little earlier, a little simpler and a little more directly, it could have saved some angst."

The Kings have about a handful of games to go in the shortened 2011-2012 season and sit second-to-last in the Western Conference with a record of 19 wins and 40 losses. They have a 14-15 record at home in Sacramento this year.

The long-time fans of the Kings will read the messages today with a disappointment after the deal in principle was made recently bringing new hope to the city of Sacramento. The city of Anaheim now regains focus as a sale will likely be in the works in the months to come.