The emergence of Ron Burkle as an interested buyer of the Kings certainly isn't bad news for Sacramento NBA fans, but it's way too early for optimism. This is still an 11th-hour move.
Yes, there is a group with a ton of money (enough to buy the Maloofs 10 times over, actually) that wants to buy an NBA team and have it in the Sacramento market. But the Kings (or any other team) are not for sale. They can't buy something that isn't for sale, and you can't make someone sell if they don't want to.
The NBA is smart enough to know that Sacramento is a good place for them to make money. Sac is a one-horse town that has shown it will follow a pro team beyond all ends. It is the best entertainment and the best distraction in town. It has been for 25 years.
The NBA doesn’t want a team moving away from Sacramento into another crowded market (Southern California) unless it absolutely has to.
It is not over yet, but this is still not necessarily reason for hope. It would still take a miracle. Now there's one miracle with a name, though: Ron Burkle.
The biggest positive sign is actually that after yesterday and this morning’s meetings, the Maloofs announced that they would be asking for another extension. That is a lot different from their long-expected, "We are filing for relocation on Monday."
David Stern just announced (minutes ago) that the Maloofs have been given an extension and now have until May 2 to file for relocation. (http://blogs.sacbee.com/sports/kings/archives/2011/04/sterns-comments.html)
It is not over yet for Sacramento, but it still looks grim.
Many people have repeatedly asked me what I think the chances are of the Kings staying. The events of the last two days may have upped my percentage from one percent to five percent. Not much, but yes, it is something.
I am waiting with guarded optimism.
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