Kevin Johnson is a man of action. So as Johnson realized that the handshake deal consummated during All-star weekend between Johnson and Sacramento Kings' owners, The Maloof Brothers, was falling part, he always had a plan B in his back pocket.
That plan B is Ron Burkle. Here is a portion of what Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick said in his recent story on the Kings' situation and in particular, Johnson's relationship with Burkle.
A year after Johnson partnered with the L.A.-based billionaire to put pressure on the Maloofs to sell the Kings, sources say he remains in constant contact with Burkle and is still hopeful that he will eventually take over the team and keep it in Sacramento. Burkle, the Pittsburgh Penguins owner who was ranked 107th on Forbes' list of richest people in America last year (net worth $3.2 billion), was a major part of Johnson's pitch to stop the Maloofs from moving to Anaheim.
The fight between Johnson and Maloofs has reached a fevered pitch within the public when in the beginning, any discussions were kept indoors. But Johnson believes - and he has supporters - that the Maloofs are in the wrong with backing out of the proposed deal. The Maloofs feel that Johnson is "killing the downtown deal by refusing to negotiate further".
Sacramento, Anaheim, Vancouver, Seattle and all other cities mentioned within the parameters of this situation will all have to wait until this fight declares a winner.