The livelihood of the Sacramento Kings in their current city saw some rays of hope a few months back, but now may have been completely washed over with gloom after the Maloof family and the city of Sacramento could not decide on financing plans for a new Sacramento stadium. NBA commissioner spoke to the media about the issue on Friday, noting that the current plan is for the team to stay through 2014 in Sacramento but may likely be headed elsewhere afterwards.
"We had an agreement in principle, a framework, a deal. Call whatever you want," Stern said, "In my view, it was subject to any party who said didn't want to do it. Always non-binding. I think it's fair for Maloofs to say they didn't want to do it. If they did it a little earlier, a little simpler and a little more directly, it could have saved some angst."
Stern would continue on to mention that the deal just wasn't right, and the Maloof family had every right to do their own due diligence on how to spend their money:
"Upon closer review, which was their right, the owners of the Kings wanted to reexamine certain assumptions that everyone understood in Orlando about projections and the like. It made them increasingly uncomfortable. Also, they recognized that the fact that it was necessary to bring in a third party, AEG, b/c we needed their funds to finance, b/c of existing debt load, together w/ funds for NBA to advance, came w/ a further burden to the team. They ultimately decided this was a transaction they didn't want to go forward with. That's their right."
Stern continued to explain his disappointment, and that he though the deal that was on the table was one he felt would have worked, the Maloofs were the party that thought it wouldn't be worth it:
"I am extremely disappointed, on behalf of Maloofs and city of Sacramento. But I think that there's nothing further to be done. This is a situation that the Maloofs will make judgments on and city will have to make judgments on. I think we've done as much as we can do. I just want to say that we thought it was a deal under which the Kings could do well in Sacramento and that Sacramento would do well and the NBA would do well."
As for staying through 2014, Stern noted that was the plan but wasn;t set in stone:
"I know we're scheduling them in to Power Balance Pavilion for next year, and it wouldn't pay for me to say anything beyond that."
Stern would conclude that he believes the city and it's fans that they want to keep their team in Sacramento, but if the ownership isn't seeing the value, they all might just get left out in the rain.
For more on the Kings, head over to Sactown Royalty.