Darius Anderson is a well-connected Northern California developer and lobbyist. He worked with associate Ron Burkle, a billionaire who helped keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, to make themselves very available as potential new owners of the Sacramento Kings and big aides in the push to get a new gym built in the River City.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has been pushing the NBA to prevent the Maloof family from moving the Kings to Anaheim next season, even going so far as to raise $10 million in new corporate sponsorship money for the team.
The Sacramento Bee reports today that Anderson was "at the center of the fundraising effort that put together the corporate pledges."
Once Johnson told the NBA Board of Governors that Burkle was willing to lead an ownership group that would keep the Kings in Sacramento, the Maloofs immediately and forcefully insisted they wouldn't sell. But there's a reason they are hightailing to L.A., and (per usual) Method Man knows the answer.
To their credit, Anderson and Burkle immediately said that if the Maloofs didn't want to sell, they'd work to get another team in Sacramento. They never came out aggressively at the Maloofs, nor has Johnson. In contrast, a Maloof brother told a TV camera that he wished Burkle would go back where he came from. Frustration, aggravation ... loss of control.
Anderson's work to raise money in Sacramento has only furthered that, and now it look like the Maloofs have no choice but to stay in the River City next season. The NBA certainly doesn't look ready to approve a relocation to Anaheim, not after Sacramento rallied to raise this much money.
So you can look at Anderson's effort in one of two ways. Either he's got some civic pride and a passion for Sacramento -- he's from Sonoma, in the Wine Country, but works out of Sacramento, as all lobbyists in California do -- or he's working behind the scenes to increase the likelihood the Maloofs will eventually sell. To him and Burkle.
I like this a lot better than the contraction theory ...