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Adam Silver gives Kings ownership group an 'A'

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in Sacramento Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the Kings ownership group and the new downtown arena.

Photo by Blake Ellington

Adam Silver commended Vivek Ranadive and the rest of the Kings ownership group Tuesday night during a media session before the Kings took on the Golden State Warriors.

Silver gave the ownership group a report card grade of an "A," crediting them for their effort to build a new downtown arena.

"Vivek and his partners are doing a fantastic job," Silver said. "Again, their vision for the arena is coming true. It's very difficult to win in this league. It wasn't that long ago that the owners of that other team close by were being criticized, and now look at the success they're having."

Silver was likely referencing the Warriors and this scene from 2012.

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Kings fans have become wary of ownership and the front office after the firing of Michael Malone earlier this season and the subsequent downward spiral in the standings. But Silver stressed patience.

"They deserve to be judged over a longer period of time, but I would just say they are doing all the things that are necessary to have a successful franchise," Silver said.

Putting the right players and coaches in place and winning are some things a successful franchise does and the Kings haven't been doing much of that lately. But another component of a successful franchise is a modern arena. The commissioner toured the Kings' downtown Entertainment and Sports Center and Experience Center and got a look at the construction under way at the new arena site earlier in the day.

"It's fantastic, it's amazing what goes into the construction of a new arena. I know they're beginning to pour concrete already," Silver said. "I just have to say, I was there when Vivek presented his vision for what a new arena could be like in Sacramento, along with Kevin Johnson, and the fact it's a reality is just incredible to me, and I can't wait to be here for opening night with that new building."

Silver also commented on what Sacramento would need to do to land an All-Star Game.

"We always said it's a combination of a state-of-the-art arena together with the hotel rooms. Of course, as I just said, you are on your way to a state-of-the-art arena and then it's a function of hotel rooms," Silver said. "We haven't looked at it in a long time and we would stretch to try to bring an All-Star Game here."

When pushed further, Silver said, "we've got to look at how many people the community can accommodate, then we can sort of extend the circle in terms of hotel rooms. But at the end of the day, we need to be able to accommodate all our guests so that's something we need to look at. But as I said, we would stretch to get a game here."

No surprise that an uptick in the number of hotel rooms will be key. The city has around 3,500 hotel rooms and roughly 5,500 are needed.

Here is what the commissioner had to say about DeMarcus Cousins making the All-Star team.

"It was a tough decision, as I've said, but I can't imagine a player more deserving than DeMarcus. When you look at his numbers, what he's accomplishing on the court, what he does for his team - he's a true All-Star. But it was a very tough call with Damian Lillard and he and I texted back and forth. I feel for him a little bit because I think from his standpoint, he did everything that was necessary too, so maybe we have to look one day at expanding the amount of slots we have for All-Stars. But I'm proud that DeMarcus is an All-Star."

Oh, and that other team "close by" beat the Kings 121-96.