By Sports Radio KJR Staff
The future of the Sacramento Kings took an interesting twist on Monday when Kevin Johnson announced that billionaire Ron Burkle was no longer apart of the ownership group or the group that would finance the new million dollar arena. However, Burkle will still be involved in the development around the proposed arena.
So, with Burkle no out of the formal ownership group, what does that mean for the chances of Sacramento to keep the Kings?
Well, on Tuesday, Ian Furness and Jason Puckett talked to USA Today national NBA writer Sam Amick about the news and his answer was probably somewhat surprising.
"I was surprised to have conversations with guys on the league side who said it was a non-factor."
Amick went on to say that the word in the league had been known that Burkle had a potential conflict because he is part-owner of Relativity Sports, which manages some NBA players' careers. According to Amick, the league feels that Vivek Ranadive, who is now the face of the proposed ownership group, has deep enough pockets to help bridge the gap financially with the loss of Burkle.
"They (Sacramento/NBA) are looking at it as if Ranadive has an 'S' on his chest," said Amick.
No one is Sacramento appears to be to concerned with the latest development, and its something that Amick said does not appear to be an issue at the league level.
"I'm hearing their plan is still as strong as ever."
If you would have asked many reporters about a month or two months ago on the possibility of the Kings moving to Seattle, the majority would have said that Seattle had a clear edge. But, that gap has apparently closed dramatically, and, in fact, it appears Sacramento has taken the lead.
"Within the last three weeks, I've had conversations, where I feel confident in saying that the NBA, to me, is absolutely pushing for one city to get the team," said Amick.
When Amick was asked a follow up on if the Kings are that team he said "I do."
To make matters more confusing, Amick has had two different groups telling him different stories on whether or not the Sacramento group has matched the Seattle offer.
"I have one side telling me that the Sacramento offer has matched Seattle's and one side disputes that," said Amick.
What is absolutely true in this whole saga is that only one person knows what the truth is and that's NBA commissioner David Stern, ultimately he'll make the final call.