It's D-Day in Big D. The NBA board of governors began gathering in Dallas today in an effort to resolve the five-month-long struggle over the future of the Sacramento Kings. The board's tasks: Decide whether the team should move to Seattle or stay in Sacramento, and then figure out who should own the troubled franchise. Owners and league executives trickled in for the climactic meeting, which was expected to begin at around 11 a.m. Sacramento time. Kings co-owner George Maloof was prowling the Hilton lobby this morning and greeted Commissioner David Stern and his wife Diane at the hotel coffee shop. After breakfast, Stern waved hello to four purple-and-black-clad Kings fans who had arrived minutes earlier from Sacramento, but declined comment to reporters. Maloof - the man who in some respects is at the center of it all - himself was of two minds about the league's decision. Seen in the Hilton lobby late Tuesday and early today, he said, "I don't have a good feel for it." A few minutes later, he expressed confidence that the league would OK the family's proposed sale of the team to Seattle's Chris Hansen and his business partner Steve Ballmer. "I still think he's got a great shot at getting it done," he said, referring to Hansen. The NBA's relocation committee voted 7-0 in April to block the sale, and the committee left that recommendation unchanged during a conference call Monday. It's widely believed that the committee's vote makes a move to Seattle unlikely. But it was much less certain what would happen to the Kings' ownership situation, and whether that issue would get final resolution today. If relocation is killed, the Maloofs and Hansen have pulled together a backup plan in which the Seattle investors would buy 20 percent of the team and pledge to work in good faith to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento. That would need league approval.
NBA board members arrive in Dallas to decide future of Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Bee | May 15