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Thank you, Mr. Burkle

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Although Ron Burkle may no longer be directly involved with the Kings' new potential ownership group, his contributions, past and future, cannot be overstated.

Bruce Bennett

"You've got Burkle?"

Despite today's news that Ron Burkle will no longer be directly involved in Sacramento's ownership bid, he'll still always hold a special place in the minds of Kings fans. Those three words from David Stern were a turning point. Recall, when Kevin Johnson first made his pitch in New York to save the Kings, few of us shared in KJ's optimism. Burkle was the ace up KJ's sleeve. The play that made the NBA take pause. The play that bought us time.

That's what Burkle was. He saved us from the immediate threat of Anaheim. And time was all we needed. Anaheim is now an afterthought.

Next, Burkle helped lend immediate legitimacy to Sacramento's most recent ownership group. According to various reports, Vivek was involved from the start, but Burkle and Mastrov lent the group a public face until Vivek was ready to go public as the lead investor.

And now Burkle is going to be a central figure in the development around a new arena. A central figure in revitalizing a key part of Sacramento.

Burkle will no longer be directly involved, and his contributions may soon be overshadowed by others, so before we move on I want to thank Ron Burkle. Thank you for stepping up and believing in Sacramento when the rest of the world was looking at Anaheim.

Thanks for believing in us.