Over the next few months, we'll see how committed the Maloofs are to Sacramento. Their actions in reaching out to fans, sponsors and the public sector -- from the mayor to the supes to Steinberg -- will show us whether they are truly willing to re-engage in good faith here.
But to me, there seems to be no question that the NBA is committed to seeing this out.
A few reasons why I believe the NBA is really on board with this last chance:
* The league isn't just sending foot soldiers to Sacramento -- it's sending generals. Brian McIntyre is basically the top PR man in the NBA -- he became David Stern's "senior communications advisor" last year after serving as the chief of the league's PR arm. We've discussed Chris Granger before -- he's the "troubleshooter" and will help sell tickets and sponsorships. More folks are coming with them.
* "Too little too late" would have been an easy case for the NBA to make; proposing new money and a new plan literally four days before the relocation deadline was a risky move by Kevin Johnson, and the league deserves some credit for hearing us out.
* The Maloofs held out until nearly the final minutes. Stern claims he didn't tell the Maloofs to stay. But ... uh ... they weren't budging on their push to move until the last minutes. Again, Stern could easily have let the Maloofs hang themselves out to dry.
* Stern said Monday that the NBA will be intensely involved in the actual arena negotiations, which means that the Maloofs won't be able to ignore a good plan. No sandbagging allowed.
* Stern is still talking about revenue sharing, unprompted. That's a huge deal for the Kings' long-term viability. Let's pray that comes hand-in-glove with the new CBA.