Kings may be sold to Seattle group
The day began with a tweet, was fueled by a fast-spreading media report and ended with rumors and reaction. But by the end of the day, nobody seemed to know the fate of basketball in Seattle or Sacramento.
The two cities reacted very differently Wednesday to swirling rumors that a group from Seattle is negotiating to buy the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
In Seattle, there was excitement that the NBA might return after its exit five years ago. In Sacramento, there was despair among fans and defiance from public officials, punctuated by Mayor Kevin Johnson vowing to fight to keep the team in town.
"It's a significant day for the community because it appears it's the first day that the Sacramento Kings are for sale," Johnson said at a news conference.
Johnson, a former NBA player, said that if the report is true, it marks an opportunity for his city to find local buyers to keep the team in Sacramento. Indeed, the team's owners, the Maloof family, have never stated publicly the team is for sale, instead pursuing options in the past to secure a new arena or move the team themselves.
Johnson made it clear he believes it's unlikely the Maloofs — who bought the team in 1998 for $156 million — will themselves keep it in Sacramento.
-- Seattle Times