According to Mark Heisler and Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Kings won’t be relocating to Anaheim. Not yet at least. Saramento mayor Kevin Johnson apparently halted the momentum of any relocation plans for the Kings with his recent pitch to the NBA. The Kings, which have been in Sacramento for the past 26 years, may very well end up staying in the California capital if significant progress is made towards building a new arena and entertainment complex. Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennet and league attorney Harvey Benjamin met with Johnson and other civic and business leaders on Thursday and Friday to discuss the matter.
During a Friday afternoon press conference, mayor Johnson made it clear that it’s too early to confirm that the Kings will indeed be staying put in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 season until a formal decision and announcement is made by Bennet and NBA commissioner David Stern. Commissioner Stern however has said recently that he is committed to exploring the long term viability of both Sacramento and Anaheim before making any decisions. The hope for Kings fans is that Stern will at minimum allow the city to make significant progress towards building a new arena over the course of the next twelve months before pulling the plug on Sacramento.
Unlike what happened with the Seattle Super Sonics which had a below average but perfectly suitably arena (Key Arena), there is widespread agreement that Power Balance Pavilion (formerly ARCO Arena) is the worst in the league.
Stay tuned for more news as it breaks both at SB Nation’s NBA hub and at Sactown Royalty.