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Kevin Johnson has rounded up about $425-$450 million in local and outside money

#1BloodyNatePosted 1/11/2013 10:20:50 PM
http://usatoday.com/article/news/1828335?articlePage=0

(I'm on my phone, so that link may not work, I removed the mobile tag in it)

SACRAMENTO Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson swears he still has a shot to save his hometown team.

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn't won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open.

"(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I'm going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized)," Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1.

Stern said Thursday night that potential buyers who might keep the team in Sacramento deserve a shot, even naming billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle as one candidate.

As was the case when he made an impassioned and ultimately successful pitch at a board of governor's meeting in New York to keep the team from going to Anaheim, Calif., in April of 2011, Johnson who had an agreement in principle with the Maloofs and the NBA for a new arena last February before they backed out is confident Stern will give him the time necessary to organize his effort.

While the prospect of engaging in a bidding war with someone with someone like Ballmer (reported net worth $17 billion) is daunting, Johnson has spent recent weeks rounding up local and outside investors who he is confident could come with a competitive offer. Because a Sacramento-based offer would not include a relocation fee and the new owners could assume the $77 million loan that the Maloofs owe the city, he said the target figure for an offer that is comparable to the $500-525 million in Seattle is $425 to $450 million.

"This will be decided by a committee of owners and the NBA's board of governors with the advice of me but not leading the way," Stern said on Thursday night.

"I think from my standpoint, we're thinking about $450 (million) $425 to $450 (million)," he said. "There's a lot of due diligence that has to take place on both sides. But everybody we're talking to, who has some interest, they know the number is going to be pretty darn high. It's going to be over $400 (million) for sure. The good thing is that there's not a shortage of people who are interested."

A person with knowledge of the deal said the formal Sacramento offer would have to involve a viable arena plan in order to be considered by the NBA. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing.

The identities of some of the involved parties have become more clear. As first reported by CBSSports.com, Mark Mastrov, the founder of Northern California-based 24-Hour Fitness, is considered a major player on the local front. Burkle is also part of this picture. Johnson, who spent recent weeks ramping up his effort to organize a response to this sort of situation, is in the process of managing all the money men.

"Some of the big dollars may not be from Sacramento, but we knew we'd have a local presence as well," he said. "I think we have an opportunity to do that. We know what the number is, and we know what's at stake, and there's no shortage of interest."

Johnson didn't indicate a timeline for presenting the formal offer from his group.

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#2BloodyNate(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2013 10:21:25 PM
What we need to do is to take a step back, get our process together, get organized and get a game plan that makes sense," he said. "We don't all want to be bumping into each other. We don't want to be bidding against each other. We need to have one Sacramento offer that makes really good sense and put ourselves in a position of strength.

"We're going to get one shot to really put our best foot forward and we want to be able to do that. The clock is ticking. We know the March 1 deadline is looming, and we're going to work our way backwards from there.

"I feel very strongly that we will be able to produce a group that has Sacramento ties that can be competitive or at least comparable. I believe the NBA knows that we're a proven market. ... I want Seattle to get a team. They deserve a team, but I don't want it to be our team."

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#3magemaximusPosted 1/11/2013 10:27:02 PM
do the fans even want to keep the kings. just wondering.
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You can't persuade fanboys. You'd be better off trying to convince a wall. ~CodeNamePlasmaSnake~
#4MasterDuoPosted 1/11/2013 10:32:41 PM
Of course we want to keep the team. Why would you think we wouldn't? I love KJ and the passion he is showing right now. Hopefully we find a way to keep the team. If Seattle wants a team let them get an expansion team. Don't punish Sacramento fans because the Maloofs are idiots.
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#5FireYetiPosted 1/11/2013 10:33:01 PM
magemaximus posted...
do the fans even want to keep the kings. just wondering.


The Kings have proven to have some of the most die-hard fans in the league, if the Kings do move there will be mass outcry, just like the Sonics
#6BloodyNate(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2013 10:33:35 PM
magemaximus posted...
do the fans even want to keep the kings. just wondering.


Yup. Two seasons ago, when the Kings almost went to Anaheim, the city of Sacramento raised 10 million dollars from donations. Literally, just business owners and anyone who wanted pitched in a couple of bucks until Johnson took notice (after about 2 million was raised) and got involved himself.

This city loves and needs the team, and we know it. We've fought, tooth and nail, to keep them, unlike Seattle ever did.

Aside from that, Here We Stay (the group that began taking up the donations in the first place) has organized rally's, Purple days and in-game rally's, one of which I was accidentally a part of
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#7magemaximusPosted 1/11/2013 10:33:56 PM
alright I haven't been following it. didn't know it was because of the owners. was just wondering.
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You can't persuade fanboys. You'd be better off trying to convince a wall. ~CodeNamePlasmaSnake~
#8Snacks92Posted 1/11/2013 10:36:35 PM
From: BloodyNate | #006
We've fought, tooth and nail, to keep them, unlike Seattle ever did



you can f*** yourself buddy
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#9BloodyNate(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2013 10:37:28 PM
magemaximus posted...
alright I haven't been following it. didn't know it was because of the owners. was just wondering.


Yeah, the Maloofs are essentially broke and held the team hostage for a while. Even when an arena deal was struck so that the Maloofs would only pay less than 19% of the cost, the Maloofs tore it down because they didn't think they had a good enough benefit. In reality, they just couldn't afford to pay their part (less than 74 million)
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#10infrared_gogglePosted 1/11/2013 10:38:09 PM
Snacks92 posted...
From: BloodyNate | #006
We've fought, tooth and nail, to keep them, unlike Seattle ever did



you can f*** yourself buddy


he posts on Gamefaqs so the chances are pretty high that he will anyways.
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