I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on. On Monday, Ron Burkle exited Team Sacramento in the aspects of team ownership and arena development. He could still be involved in real estate development around the arena -- he helped funded JMA Ventures' purchase of Downtown Plaza, and might have some swell ideas about those city properties that are getting turned over to the partnership. This was not remotely expected or anticipated by anyone outside of the core leadership group. Kevin Johnson told the media on Monday that they knew this was an issue; they did a fine job hiding it.
But then the next whale -- the Jacobs family, led by Jeff Jacobs -- stepped up. From The Bee:
A source familiar with the matter said the Jacobs family of San Diego, founders of telecommunications giant Qualcomm Inc., would take on a more significant role in the ownership group. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak for the Jacobses.
The Jacobses didn't join the Kings effort until late March and have kept a low profile. One of the family's members, Jeff Jacobs, issued a statement Monday saying "we are thrilled to join Vivek and Mark in their efforts to keep the Kings in California and revitalize Sacramento."
KJ also mentioned a wrinkle in the ownership group coming up soon; I would expect that fuller participation from the Jacobses would be that wrinkle. I suspect we'll hear more about their level of involvement in the days to come.
The one thought that can make the Burkle-Jacobs swap seem like a positive development is the idea that it appeases, in some way, the Maloofs. Lest you think this is a StR comment thread conspiracy theory ...
Burkle being out helps potential Maloof sale to Sac group if NBA rejects Seattle bid. Maloofs uninterested in selling 2 him in any form.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 8, 2013
D.A. tweeted that as the news broke. So our half-cocked theories have good company, at least.
Aaron Bruski tweeted some good information on what this all means, particularly ...
I'm told there is no concern at the league level about Burkle's contribution or his participation, which "barely changed."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) April 9, 2013
And of course, in his own fantastic way, Vivek Ranadive responded to the issue ... with a photo of the local partners kicking in $1 million each.
Win or lose, I love this guy.