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Volume 24 No. 114


Kings co-Owner George Maloof will "represent the team" at tomorrow's NBA BOG meeting in N.Y., when reps from Sacramento and Seattle present their competing bids to purchase the team, according to a source cited by Kasler & Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Kings Owner the Maloof family has "all but disappeared from public view since January, when they struck their deal" with Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Meanwhile, former Sacramento arena task force co-Chair and consultant Chris Lehane will be part of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's "entourage" in N.Y. Johnson also is "expected to be accompanied" by Warriors co-Chair Vivek Ranadive, 24-Hour Fitness co-Founder Mark Mastrov and Penguins co-Owner Ron Burkle, all of whom are lead investors in the bid for the Kings. Lobbyist Darius Anderson, who was "instrumental in pulling the group together, also will attend" (SACRAMEMTO BEE, 4/2). Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Exec Dow Constantine yesterday said that they "will join" Hansen tomorrow in N.Y. (, 4/1).'s David Aldridge noted the NBA's Relocation and Finance committees, normally separate, "will combine into one uber-committee for this unique situation." There will be "no binding vote made this week." The committees are "expected to have a recommendation" for the full Board to consider on April 18. Approval of the sale "requires a three-fourths" majority. If the sale to the Hansen group is approved, the BOG will then vote on "whether to approve the move of the Kings from Sacramento to Seattle," which "requires only a simple majority." A source said that the Seattle group soon "will announce" a commitment of an additional $20M that will be "spent this summer for upgrades to Key Arena" (, 4/1).

COMEBACK STORY:'s Ken Berger writes Sacramento's "incredible efforts -- led by Johnson -- to match the strength of the Seattle offer have thrown such a wrench into the once-seemingly inevitable relocation of the team that it isn't even clear how Wednesday's meeting will be conducted." The owners "will not be voting on emotion," as they are "businessmen, and this is business." Though Johnson has said that he does not believe NBA Commissioner David Stern "wants a bidding war ... that's very well what this could become." While it can be "argued that the owners would do better financially if the team moved," the "greater precedent at stake" is leverage in future negotiations. Johnson said of the NBA possibly approving the Kings' relocation to Seattle, "It would be a horrible precedent for the NBA to do that. We've met every benchmark, every milestone, every goal, every objective, everything that has been laid out, we've met. And you just don't do that to a community that has done everything you've asked of it" (, 4/2).