New Group Bids To Keep Kings In Sacramento

Mar 1, 2013

Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Credit Flickr Photo/Lisa Nottingham

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson still says his city is keeping their NBA basketball team, the Kings. That's despite a deal already in the works to sell the team to a Seattle group.

Johnson announced that new investors are stepping in with a last-ditch effort to keep the team on Thursday night.

Mark Mastrov is a Sacramento local and the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, and will make a bid for the team. Pittsburg Penguins owner Ron Burkle will solve the city's other problem and lead a group to build a new downtown arena.

Johnson says this means the Kings will stay in Sacramento. "We never say never: that is who we are. So, with all due respect to Seattle -- and I do wish them well and I do hope they get a team someday -- but as I was saying, let me be perfectly crystal clear, it is not going to be this team. Not our team, no way."

A deal signed by Kings majority owners, the Maloof family, would sell the team to a Seattle group, led by Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer and hedgefund manager Chris Hansen.

That deal still has to be approved by the NBA. The NBA board of governors is expected to make a decision on the sale by mid-April.