Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Just when you thought the sale to Seattle was all but finalized, supermarket mogul Ron Burkle bursts on the scene and meets with Stern Thursday to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Although the Maloof Brothers, the Kings' current owners, already agreed to sell 65 percent of the franchise to the Seattle-based tag team of Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer for $341 million, the deal still has yet to be approved by the NBA's board of governors. Burkle apparently sees that opening as a window of opportunity and is reportedly constructing a counter-bid with 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov to keep the team in Sacramento.
Then again, this could just be an attempt for Stern to save face with the Sacramento crowd despite his clear intentions to get another team in Seattle. As Amick reports, Stern has already publicly shared that he plans to hear Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson out before making the move, but that sounds like a bipartisan formality more than anything.
The current deadline to file for relocation is March 1, so only time will tell how this tug-and-pull saga ends. And with the Board of Governors not set to meet again until sometime in April, this could easily drag on and get even uglier than it already is.