On Wednesday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he was going to “fight like crazy” to keep the Sacramento Kings, the NBA basketball franchise, in the city after reports surfaced that indicated the owners of the Kings were close to selling the franchise to an ownership group that would move the team to Seattle.
Johnson said Sacramento is a “proven market” for an NBA team and the “community deserves to have an NBA team.”
He said there were no guarantees and “we’re going to fight like crazy” to find an ownership group, which would have to pay a reported $500 million, to keep the team in the city.
Johnson indicated the deadline for Sacramento to find a new ownership group woud be March 1, which is also the NBA’s relocation deadline.
He, like the city, seemed blindsided and conceded many in his administration had found out about the news that the Kings were for sale on Twitter and in a Yahoo! Sports report.
Johnson, a former point guard for the Phoenix Suns, has many contacts in the NBA community and beyond. He is married to education reformer Michelle Rhee, who also gives him access to potential investors who could help him keep the Kings in the city.