After two depressing Press Conferences today, the first from the Maloofs and the second from David Stern. Both essentially declared the current arena deal as dead. Kevin Johnson, who flew into New York late last night, got a chance to respond in a press conference after meeting with the Maloof Family.
For those hoping for some good news, you were once again disappointed. Clearly emotional and upset, Johnson appeared baffled that the process had come to this point. He reiterated several times that the deal in Orlando, while non-binding, was agreed to by all parties. More to the point, Johnson's core point was that "Sacramento Deserves Better".
Mayor Johnson talked about how much the city of Sacramento has done, something also stated by David Stern in his press conference. The city got one year to form a feasible arena plan starting from last year's Board of Governor's meeting. The city did that, and the only ones balking at the deal in the end was not the city, not the NBA, and not AEG, but the Maloofs.
Without the Sacramento Kings as a major tenant contributing $75 million, the arena is pretty much dead in its tracks. On the Maloofs' statements today that they'd possibly be interested in renovating Power Balance Pavilion, Johnson said that if the Maloofs wanted to renovate the arena with private dollars, that was their prerogative. He found it ironic that the Maloofs would say that now after telling him a while ago that an arena renovation was not viable.
"What I learned today, is that sometimes people can change their minds."
Mayor Johnson went on to talk about how it looked like the Maloofs were trying to come up with reasons not to do the deal. On the Kings' future in Sacramento, Johnson refused to speculate. That's now up to the Maloofs, who released this statement today:
Despite best efforts to negotiate an agreement with the City of Sacramento, and at the conclusion of a meeting this afternoon with Mayor Johnson, he advised us that there is nothing to be gained by continued discussions at this time.
We are committed to remaining the Sacramento Kings.
We only received a non-binding term sheet regarding a complex $400 million transaction 8 days before the Mayor's deadline of March 1st. From the moment we received it, we expressed our serious concerns with many of the proposed terms and conditions. Even now, these concerns have yet to be addressed by the City.
The negotiations that have occurred surrounding, as Commissioner Stern said repeatedly today during his news conference a "non-binding framework", never resulted in a deal that was good for the City or good for the team.
We are going to continue to work hard building our exciting young nucleus into a play-off contending team that all Sacramento citizens will be proud of.
We want to thank our loyal fans.
We love Sacramento and we will continue all of our civic and charitable involvement that over the past 15 years has resulted in more than $20 million in cash and in-kind donations to more than 200 community organizations.
On the Maloofs proposed term sheet's changes, Johnson said something to the effect that he'd be executed in Sacramento if he brought those changes to the table. The biggest one was the Maloofs' refusal to put up collateral in case the city re-financed. He also says that he wasn't aware of these "complications" until today, while the Maloofs claimed the city has had it for seven weeks. He also said that going forward, there is definite issue of trust between himself and the Maloofs in any future dealings.
"Is the deal as we know it dead? Absolutely."
Where do we go from here? Who knows. But this is a dark day for the city of Sacramento, and for Sacramento Kings fans.