Stern: NBA doesn’t have Kings’ sale agreement
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
NBA Commissioner David Stern addressed the Sacramento Kings-to-Seattle saga publicly for the second time Thursday, telling reporters in London that the league has yet to receive any “purchase and sale agreement” from the potential sale of the Kings.”
“I was hoping that you would give me the update,” Stern said jokingly to a reporter when asked about the situation. “I would say the following: The one thing we do know is that no purchase and sale agreement has been submitted to us, and we assume if one were going to be executed, then the next thing they would do is submit it to us.”
While numerous media outlets have indicated that there is a handshake agreement between the Maloof family that owns the team and the Seattle group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sacramento Mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson continues to organize his latest effort to keep the team in town. Johnson, the Sacramento native whose relationship with Stern has come in handy in the past, must convince the NBA not give up on his market yet again.
In April 2011, Stern and Johnson had everything to do with the Maloofs’ plans of moving the team to Anaheim being derailed. Last February, they worked together with one of the most powerful companies in the entertainment and professional sports world, AEG, and the Maloofs to agree to the framework of a Sacramento arena that fell apart when the Maloofs backed out. AEG made it clear this week that their commitment to the project remains.
As for the latest push, a person close to the situation told USA TODAY Sports that Northern California-based 24-Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov and Los Angeles-based supermarket mogul/part owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Ron Burkle, are currently seen as the two most significant money men in the Sacramento strategy that is still taking shape. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.
While Burkle’s interest had waned recently, it appears he is re-engaged in the potential project and has honed in … [For more on David Stern says NBA doesn't have Kings' sale agreement, click here.]