The biggest news from Thursday on the Sacramento Kings front was from David Stern, who in a press conference in London said that he has seen no agreement between the Maloofs and the Seattle group attempting to move the Kings to Washington state. But in another interesting bit of news, the Bee reports that the local investors who will be an integral part of Kevin Johnson's pitch to the NBA will soon be known.
Like, real soon.
That recruitment process has been among Mayor Kevin Johnson's priorities this week, said Jeff Dorso, who is leading the mayor's Think Big arena task force.
Dorso said those local partners are expected to be organized and their names revealed next week.
Those local investors would team up with an out-of-market big money capital investor in the city's pitch. It's not clear whether Mark Mastrov qualifies as local -- he lives in Lafayette, which is between the Concord/Walnut Creek area and Oakland. (If you're on Highway 24 or the BART yellow line, it's the town with all of the crosses on the hill.) It's fairly close -- I mean, Eric Musselman commuted from the area when he ran the Kings -- but it could be that he's more in line to be the big money investor and seriously local folks like Sleep Train's Dale Carlsen would be the locals.
In terms of big money, the two names thrown out most frequently are Mastrov and Ron Burkle. Rumors are also getting around about Larry Ellison, who owns a home in the foothills and desperately wants into the NBA. (He is also worth a mid-sized European country.) My money's still on Burkle, despite the reported dismissiveness by the Maloofs. Burkle really helped Kevin Johnson back in 2011 by stepping up. If Burkle wants to get in here, KJ sort of owes it to him, in my opinion.