Miami Heat owner Micky Arison arrives to NBA labor negotiations at The Waldorf Astoria on September 30, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO - Sacramento fans are once again celebrating after Twitter messages from Miami Heat owner Micky Arison indicated the Kings will likely remain in Sacramento.
Sonics fan and Seattle tweeter, @Dah_knee, told a radio host in Washington that he engaged Arison in a direct message conversation Wednesday.
@Dah-knee, whose real name is Danny, sent screen shots to Dave "Softy" Mahler of Sports Radio 950 AM in Seattle. Mahler then posted them on the station's website.
News10 has expanded the direct messages from the abbreviated language in which Twitter users communicate.
"You don't get it," Arison said in his direct message to Danny. "We are voting to leave Sacramento or not. I love Seattle and will support a team there, but honestly you are making it harder to support you."
Arison also wrote, "The question before the committee is, 'Has Sacramento done all it should to keep the team?' The answer is yes. (This is) not a vote about Seattle."
The conversation lasted exactly one hour, according to the screen shots.
"If Seattle, especially local politicians, had done what Sacramento's did, a move to Oklahoma City would have never been approved. I want a team in Seattle, just not Sacramento's."
"Another market move is more likely but expansion will be considered after the next TV negotiations. Ciao for now."
For Sacramento fans, this is a hopeful sign. Arison is one of 30 owners expected to vote next week on a league relocation committee's recommendation to deny Seattle's application to move the Kings.
The relocation committee, chaired by Clay Bennett, voted unanimously to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Bennett owns the Oklahoma City Thunder after purchasing the team and moving it from Seattle.
The full NBA Board of Governors
(the 30 team owners or their representatives) will meet in Dallas on Wednesday, May 15. A final decision is expected on the Kings saga, but as Mayor Kevin Johnson noted on Tuesday, anything could delay a final conclusion.
What was unclear as of Thursday morning is whether Arison's messages will bring repercussions. In November 2011, he was fined $500,000 for tweeting about the lockout.
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org