NEW YORK - In less than two days, those who've put together the Sacramento offer to buy the Sacramento Kings and build a new arena make their most important pitch yet.
The principals, which include Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, are in New York to present their plan to the combined NBA relocation and finance committees starting Wednesday morning. The Seattle/Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer contingent will also make their case.
Members of the committees are: Herb Simon, Indiana Pacers; Glen Taylor, Minnesota Timberwolves; Larry Tanenbaum, Toronto Raptors; Ted Leonis, Washington Wizards; Greg Miller, Utah Jazz; Robert Sarver, Phoenix Suns; Micky Arison, Miami Heat; Jim Buss, Los Angles Lakers; Jim Dolan, New York Knicks; Wyc Grousebeck, Boston Celtics; Peter Holt, San Antonio Spurs and Clay Bennett, Oklahoma City Thunder. Bennett bought the Seattle Sonics in 2008 and moved the team to Oklahoma, leaving the Emerald City without an NBA franchise after 41 years.
The Sacramento "Here We Buy" group has a $448 million proposal and pledges for 10,000 season tickets; Seattle has a $525 million deal to buy the franchise from the Maloofs, Kings majority owners, and a $15.1 million offer to Bob Cook, a minority owner. Both deals, which would give the Hansen/Ballmer team 72 percent ownership control, have to be approved.
Two competing bids, one to keep the Kings in place and the other to relocate the team, is something new for the NBA.
"This is unprecedented, "said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Yes - we don't have a scroll handed down from on high that tells us precisely how to do this. So we're working our way through it to be fair to everybody."
Two weeks later, April 18 and 19, the 30 team owners vote on the fate of the Kings.