2 cities and lots of deep pockets fight for Sacramento Kings

By Laurie Bennett

April 12, 2013 at 7:25am

While the fate of the Sacramento Kings may fall to NBA Commissioner David Stern, wealthy investors have lined up in California and Washington.

The current owners, the Maloof family, want to sell the Kings to Seattle bidders. Sacramento fans, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, want to keep the team where it is, with a new downtown arena.

The Seattle bidders, shown in the upper portion of the Muckety map above, are hedge funder Chris Hansen and Microsoft co-founder Steve Ballmer, who hasn’t been happy since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City.

The group trying to keep the team in Sacramento includes developer Mark Friedman, 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide founder Mark Mastrov and software entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive, who is part-owner of Golden State Warriors.

Billionaire Ron Burkle had been part of the California group, but stepped down because of a conflict of interest. Burkle has a stake in Relativity Media, which represents NBA players.

As USA Today reports, expansion of the NBA is unlikely. One city is in for disappointment.

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