Kevin Johnson: Let's Find Buyers to Keep Kings in Sacramento

"The Maloofs are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer led Seattle group, sources tell Yahoo! Sports."

UPDATE, 8 a.m. Thursday: The Sacramento Bee, citing anonymous sources, says any possible deal between the Maloof brothers and possibly buyers in Seattle is only "conceptual."

UPDATE, 4 p.m.: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that if the Maloof brothers were planning to sell the Sacramento Kings, they should sell to someone locally to avoid moving the team.

"It appears to me for the first time they have publicly shown a desire to sell the team, and that's what's significant," Johnson said. "We need to put ourselves in a position to find an ownership group and buyers to keep the team in Sacramento."

Johnson said investors have spoken to him in the past about a desire to buy the team.

Johnson said NBA fans in Sacramento have shown 27 years of loyal support, adding that the city is "a proven market" where the Kings get 100 percent of professional sports marketshare.

He said if the Kings leave Sacramento, 600 - 1,000 full-time jobs would be lost.

UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Citing anonymous sources, The Sacramento Bee has confirmed that owners of the Sacramento Kings are in talks with Chris Hansen's investment group. But the newspaper says the discussion has been "conceptual" so far and that no official offer has been made.

The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has previously said it would not sell the team, the Bee reported.

"If someone was to put a crazy number on the table, their perspective could change," an anonymous source told the paper. "If somebody like a (Chris) Hansen (the head of the Seattle group) were to actually make an offer, which hasn't happened yet, and that offer was ridiculous, things could change."

ORIGINAL STORY: Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the the Maloof family will sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. You can read his tweets above. 

Sacramento-area sports personality Carmichael Dave tweeted the following on Wednesday: "Uh oh," followed by, "Ill believe it when the police lead me away in handcuffs from blocking the moving vans." 

Seattle lost its basketball team, The SuperSonics, when they moved to Oklahoma City back in 2008 after being sold. The controversial relocation spawned a large movement to bring a team back to Seattle.

Meanwhile, the Kings ownership and stadium-construction situation has been in headlines for years, with the team nearly leaving to Anaheim. 

We'll continue to update this report. In the meantime, please share your thoughts below. Do you think the Kings will move? 

K James January 10, 2013 at 12:42 AM
The spoiled Maloof boys have blown Papa Maloof's bank accounts and now are forced into selling the Kings to whomever will refill their empty bank account. They should hang their heads in shame!
Rudy Venegas January 10, 2013 at 03:03 AM
The Maloofs are nothing but lying, wolves in sheeps clothing! Why should we care if they sell and leave? They owe Sacramento $77 million, and I'm betting they get away without paying the full amount. All they've caused is trouble for us. Mayor Johnson has been taken for a fool and the Maloofs are laughing all the way to the bank. Let them go to Seattle, who cares!
Mark Paxson January 10, 2013 at 03:34 AM
If they do sell to the Seattle group, it will be the final thumb in the eye of Sacramento. A billionaire was willing to buy the team with the intent of keeping them in Sacramento. He probably would have been fine with the downtown arena plan the Maloofs torpedoed. But, the Maloofs won't sell to him. They won't sell to somebody interested in keeping the team here. They will sell to somebody who will move the team elsewhere. They've never liked Sacramento, always thinking they are better, more classier than Sacramento is. Odd thing is, once they sell the Kings, they will have virtually nothing left other than the trust funds their daddy set up for them.
Marta Walker Betts January 10, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Does this mean we won't have to listen to any more about the Maloof brothers? Good riddance. Where's the loyalty to the fans? Are we still on to receive a soccer team? That could be fun and different.
Victor Calderon January 10, 2013 at 09:50 PM
The Kings need to stay, the Maloofs need to move on. Please sign the online petition.


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