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Sacramento Kings Relocation: Kings Expected to Stay

The LA Times is reporting that the Kings, based on conversations with NBA officials, are expected to stay in Sacramento.

NBA officials now expect the Kings to play next season in Sacramento, league executives told The Times on Friday.

Whether the team, which was about to seek permission to move to Honda Center in Anaheim, stays in Sacramento beyond next season remains to be decided.

That will depend on city and county officials and local businesses redeeming the pledges made by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson before the NBA's relocation committee last week in New York, including support for a new downtown arena.

Mayor Kevin Johnson just wrapped up an afternoon press conference and could not delve deeply on the breaking news.  He said that he has not heard from Commissioner David Stern or other league officials regarding the LA Times' report, citing it would be premature to declare victory just yet.

"I say we went from a week ago thinking that we really had no shot of keeping them here," Johnson said.  "I feel a lot more confident about our ability to keep them here."

NBA representatives will be back in Sacramento next week.

Update (5:04 pm):  Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reached Gavin Maloof on the report and tweeted the following comment from the Kings co-owner.

"Not what we (are) saying. We haven't said. Will let you know when we know."

Update (6:16 pm): The Kings issued this official statement about one hour ago.

“We await the results of the fact-finding visit that the NBA made to Sacramento the past two days. We have not made a decision with regards to relocation filing, and will not make that decision until we have more information from the NBA.”

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