Anaheim mayor Tom Tait said Tuesday that his city is "closer than ever" to bringing NBA basketball to the Honda Center. The team in question is the Sacramento Kings; while the Anaheim City Council delayed its decision on floating bonds to cover costs of Honda Center improvements needed to host the Kings, the Orange County Register reports that Tait said negotiations are ongoing, and promising.
That's bad news for Sacramento, where mayor and former All-NBA point guard Kevin Johnson blogged about his continued and growing pessimism about the Kings' future in California's capital. The city has commissioned a feasibility study on a potential downtown arena; Johnson maintains that the city will press forward on building a sports and entertainment complex, provided there's a suitable funding plan, even if (or when) the Kings leave.
Assuming Anaheim approves its bond issuance next week, the next critical date comes on April 14, when the Maloof family will meet with other NBA franchise owners to discuss their plans. Lakers franchisee Jerry Buss is expected to pressure his fellow team owners to either reject the encroaching relocation, or at least exact a substantial fee from the Maloof family for moving to Southern California. The Maloofs' formal application for relocation is due April 18.
Disclosure: The author is a Sacramento resident. longtime Kings fan and the editor of SactownRoyalty.com, SB Nation's Kings blog.