In a very disappointing news conference held by Mayor Kevin Johnson this afternoon, it was confirmed that the once “frameworked” deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento and a new downtown arena has fallen apart and is no longer feasible.
The almost tearful Mayor entered the podium, visibly upset and announced the proceedings of the two-day meetings held by the city and the Maloofs, below of which are some important bullet-points in the twenty-plus minutes presser:
- Differences between the Maloofs and city are irreconcilable, per Mayor Johnson.
- Best interest of the city and best interest of the Maloof family is not something that can work together right now.
- City will look into other options, namely “Plan B”.
- The differences are too far apart to further this deal and the deal will not be happening.
- Wanted to make sure there was no stone left unturned, thus, the meetings in the past two days. Said every stone was turned.
- Mayor Johnson said he felt the deal was fair on all sides, but, it became apparent that the economics were very difficult for the Maloofs for a variety of reasons
- Mayor said they did their part, little else they can do. Completed finance plan, did what was asked and over-delivered and it was still not enough.
- Said there was little give (if any) on the Maloofs part in terms of fixing the deal.
- “This” door is closed, but, “Plan B” needs to be looked at, including AEG building a building with or without a team.
- If you can’t agree on the initial numbers, the talks wont advance very far. Mentioned all parties (the city, NBA, AEG) reviewing the numbers and all feeling they were fair but one party (the Maloofs) playing hardball, you just can’t do much.
- Said he was very confident that they (the city) did the best they could do – his only mistake was not getting something in writing during the Orlando meetings.
- Mentioned that the Maloofs were operating under a different model than other franchises in the league.
- When asked if he asked the Maloofs about selling the team, he paused, smirked, asked “beg your pardon” and said “let me think about an answer”.
- “We will lick our wounds and get up”
The confirmation of the fallen deal isn’t exactly news – while many held out hope that a reversal would take part, it’s something the King fan base has more or less known for a few weeks now since the original news of the broken deal.
With a handful of scenarios still possible (be it selling the team, working on a new deal, staying at Power Balance or relocation), the news on the arena front is far from dead but for now, the efforts (financial and not) of all involved – the city, the fans, the community, have been wasted by the Maloof family.