Ron Burkle pulls out of Sacramento ownership group


There's been a minor change in the ownership group vying to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

The ownership group that intends to purchase the Sacramento Kings and prevent the franchise's move to Seattle will no longer include billionaire Ron Burkle, according to Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.

Burkle will still be involved in the process of keeping the Kings in Sacramento as he leads the push for a new arena at Downtown Plaza. It was previously expected that he would also purchase a small stake in the team along with other investors, but that won't be the case even if the team's bid to stay in Sacramento succeeds.

The report mentions a potential conflict of interest that arose during meetings with NBA executives last week.

Burkle has partial ownership of a firm, Relativity Sports, that manages the careers of professional athletes. Boasting clients such as NBA stars Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson, some league executives expressed concern that Burkle being part of Kings ownership could be an issue.

Without his investment, the new Kings ownership would be controlled by Mark Mastrov, Vivek Ranadive and the Jacobs family. It doesn't appear his departure will have much bearing on whether the team stays in Sacramento or not.

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