Sacramento Hopes to Keep Kings; Maloofs Eye Move

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says the city "deserves an NBA franchise."

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The Maloof brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings, are reportedly in talks to move the franchise to Anaheim.

    The NBA has extended the Sacramento Kings deadline to apply to move the franchise next season, which will presumably land the Kings at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

    Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof will have until April 18 to apply to relocate the franchise, after which a majority vote by the NBA's owners will determine if the team will move.

    Former NBA player and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson admitted in a press conference that the Kings chances of moving are "greater than them staying."

    "It's clear [the Kings] are looking to try to strike a deal with Anaheim…I don't think Sacramento has a whole lot of say right now," Johnson said.

    However, Johnson and Sacramento fans haven't given up hope.

    "I'll reiterate how badly we want to keep [the Kings] here," Johnson said. "Our city deserves an NBA franchise. We, as a city, can't control the outcome, but we can support the team."

    Johnson said he's rallying local businesses to build a new sports arena, in hopes of proving that Sacramento can continue to support an NBA team.

    The Kings' attendance has dropped off in recent years, as has their winning percentage. They finished dead last in the league in attendance in 2009 and second-to-last in 2010, and 2011 isn't looking any better.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, the Maloofs have made "several visits" with Honda Center officials, and there are reportedly already discussions about changing the Kings' name -- the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings are the current Honda Center occupant Anaheim Ducks leading rival.

    Johnson said he's planning to meet with the Maloofs and NBA Commissioner David Stern this week in hopes to stall a move.