Big, big news out of New York City: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson told the NBA Board of Governors that Ron Burkle, a billionaire associate of Bill Clinton, wants to buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. Our friend Sam Amick with the bomb:
Burkle been working on this for weeks. When KJ told Stern he had a possible buyer, the commish made crack about it being a local car dealer. He dropped Burkle's name, and source says Stern went quiet. "You've got Burkle?"
UPDATE: Burkle's firm has just sent out this press release:
"We want to thank Mayor Kevin Johnson for his efforts to keep the Kings and the NBA in Sacramento. We were pleased to be a part of his presentation today and we are encouraged by the progress, energy and new resources behind the effort to keep the NBA in Sacramento.
"The Maloofs have been strong owners and a positive part of the Sacramento community for years, but it is important that Kings fans and residents of the Sacramento region know that the Burkle Group is ready to commit the resources and expertise necessary to keep the NBA in Sacramento. Our group believes Sacramento is an important NBA market that can thrive with new ideas, new resources and an absolute commitment to delivering the best on and off-court experiences for fans.
"This group, led by Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, is prepared to assist the Mayor by bringing significant resources and the best possible expertise in professional sports, facilities development and financing to bear in the effort to keep Sacramento as an NBA city.
"The Burkle group, our local partners and other investors are looking forward to working together with the Mayor and other regional leaders to keep the NBA in Sacramento, deliver on a new facility and provide Kings fans in the region with decades more of great memories."