Stern Praises NBA Kings' Ranadive, Hiring Of Granger From League Office
NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday said that he is "pleased with the job" that Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive's ownership group has "done since taking over in late May," according to Jason Jones of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Stern said plans for building a new downtown arena in Sacramento "are straight ahead with respect to the building and acquiring the final pieces of property." Meanwhile, the Kings' ticket sales and corporate sponsorship deals "are robust." The Kings "lead the NBA in new season-ticket sales." Stern also "praised the hiring of new CEO Chris Granger from the league office as a positive step for the franchise." Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver said that he would "give the new owners an 'A' for the progress made" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/19). 24 Hour Fitness co-Founder and Kings investor Mark Mastrov said of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, "You have to tip your hat to the mayor and say that he probably was one of the biggest chips that we had on our side to help keep the team in Sacramento. Without him, it probably makes it very difficult for us to have had a chance to do so." He added, "Vivek is a good friend of mine but made it very clear in the early stages that he was one of the leading investors in the Warriors, and he really coveted being in that lead spot (for the Kings). And as much as I or others would have coveted being in that lead spot, Vivek stood up and said, 'I really want to be the lead owner and be the general partner'" (CLUBINDUSTRY.com, 7/17).