Skip to content

With Sacramento arena deal all but dead, Stern says league has done all it can

Apr 13, 2012, 4:15 PM EDT

David Stern AP

David Stern’s press conference Friday afternoon sounded a whole lot like a eulogy for the Kings in Sacramento.

Stern said Friday afternoon following the two-day NBA Board of Governor’s meeting that a handshake deal reached All-Star Weekend to get a new arena built in Sacramento was basically dead. While he would not use that exact word Stern sounded like a guy resigned to seeing a team move. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloof family that owns the Kings are reportedly meeting Friday but that is a Hail Mary at this point – George Maloof said there is no deal and Johnson said the city was done negotiating.

“We had an agreement in principle, a framework, a deal. Call whatever you want,” Stern said at the press conference broadcast on NBATV. “In my view, it was subject to any party who said didn’t want to do it. It was always non-binding… I think it’s fair for Maloofs to say ‘I don’t want to do it.’

“If they did it a little earlier, a little simpler and a little more directly, it could have saved some angst.”

Stern’s body language and tone suggested he felt bad for Mayor Johnson and the fans of Sacramento, who had stepped up. Stern said several times that the city had done all that could be asked of it.

“I am extremely disappointed, on behalf of Maloofs and city of Sacramento, but I think that there’s nothing further to be done,” Stern said. “This is a situation that the Maloofs will make judgments on and city will have to make judgments on. I think we’ve done as much as we can do.”

While the team has not yet filed for relocation — to Anaheim most likely, although there are other options — it would be surprising if that does not come soon. The Maloof family has said they wanted to stay in Sacramento but their actions said otherwise.

Stern said the league is scheduling the Kings games next season into the Power Balance Arena in Sacramento, but he could not speak to anything beyond that. But the way co-owner George Maloof burned bridges in Sacramento with his Friday press conference in New York it’s just hard to see them staying.

And, as owners, that is their right.

The NBA treats its owners like feudal Lords who can pretty much do what they want in their fiefdoms. David Stern works for and at the pleasure of the other owners. While he took a couple shots at the Maloofs press conference, Stern said repeatedly the Maloofs were within their rights to make the moves they did. As owners paying into an arena project, they had the right to raise concerns and back out.

The other owners, who might want to use that same “we might leave town” leverage down the line on their cities, are not about to tie the hands of the Maloofs.

And so a good NBA fan base in Sacramento is about to lose its team.

Latest Posts
  1. Anthony Davis was filling up the stat sheet vs. Slovenia (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Anthony Davis Anthony Davis

    Davis had 18 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and three steals in 20 minutes of work.

  2. Kyrie Irving, Goran Dragic threw some wicked moves at each other (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT

    Puerto Rico v United States Getty Images

    The point guards made this blowout more fun to watch.

  3. Bucks sign No. 31 pick Damien Inglis

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    Milwaukee’s trade with Clippers cleared a roster spot

  4. Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ agent denies comeback attempt

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Former Cavaliers center, 39, has been retired three years

  5. Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT

    Hasheem Thabeet, Maalik Wayns Hasheem Thabeet, Maalik Wayns

    Oklahoma City will create trade exception, and Philadelphia will waive Thabeet

  6. From late-arriving to a LeBron James favorite, Kevin Love comes full circle

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Olympics Day 16 - Basketball Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

    Kevin Love: ‘My decision’ swayed by LeBron James calling just after choosing Cavaliers in free agency

  7. New NBA rule clears more space on baseline

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook Russell Westbrook

    Number of camera positions behind baseline to be halved

  8. Clippers trade Jared Dudley and first rounder to Bucks for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Jared Dudley Jared Dudley

    Clippers limit their present and future, and the Bucks gain an easy asset

  9. Report: Cavaliers trying to trade for Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets - Game Two Getty Images

    Cleveland not offering assets as of yet, so Denver’s not biting.

  10. J.R. Smith: ‘I’m on pace to be one of the best shooters the game had ever seen’

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Career three-pointers made is the only category where this statement begins to make any sense.

  11. Agent for Thanasis Antetokounmpo ‘amazed’ his client chose to play in D-League for $25K

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

    thanasis nba draft

    Brother of the Bucks’ Giannis turned down a more lucrative offer to play overseas.

  12. Dwyane Wade needs to get as good at free throws as soon-to-be wife (Instagram)

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwm5zddmy2m4zde4mmi1ogi5mjk4odbjnzeyzgu3m2u4 AP

    Well, she looks better shooting free throws than he does anyway.

  13. Report: Turner Broadcasting planning layoffs in advance of rising NBA rights fees

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five

    Turner wants to keep its NBA rights, and with negotiations looming, the company has planned layoffs in order to have the necessary cash on hand.

  14. Kevin Murphy highlights four Jazz signings

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz

    Utah also adds Dee Bost, Jack Cooley and Brock Motum

Featured video

Will LeBron get booed Christmas Day in Miami?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (3672)
  2. K. Love (3666)
  3. T. Young (2639)
  4. L. James (2563)
  5. K. Bryant (2538)
  1. K. Irving (2461)
  2. E. Bledsoe (2040)
  3. G. Hayward (2017)
  4. A. Davis (1896)
  5. R. Allen (1800)