NBA Board of Governors to hear Sacramento-to-Anaheim pitch Thursday
The Sacramento Kings’ proposed conversion to the Anaheim Royals will be proposed to the NBA’s Board of Governors in New York on Thursday amid some powerful objections that are unlikely to delay the arrival later this year of Southern California’s third team in the league.
Fretting about costly reductions of their television deals and ticket sales, the Lakers and Clippers are expected to vehemently oppose the Kings’ move to the Honda Center.
The Lakers are especially bent because they are already on the hook for a hefty revenue-sharing bill from the NBA and now confront something close to a $250-million deduction from the reported $3-billion, multiyear TV deal the team struck with Time-Warner because of a “third team in Southern California” clause.
Aside from confirming Lakers owner Jerry Buss will be at the Thursday-Friday board meeting in New York, a Lakers spokesman declined via email “to share … what [Buss] plans to discuss at the meetings" or "discuss the ramifications of a third team moving into our market on our new broadcast deal.”
Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling will also attend the meeting.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA guard, is expected to attend tonight's Kings regular-season finale against the Lakers in Sacramento, then deliver a Thursday presentation to the Board of Governors.
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and City Manager Tom Wood will also attend the New York meeting, along with Honda Center operator and Ducks owner Henry Samueli and another Anaheim Arena executive.
A majority of the 29 teams needs to sign off on the relocation request for it to move toward final passage of NBA owners.
The wild card is how fiercely Lakers Hall of Fame owner Buss wants to assert his clout in trying to block or delay the move.
Photo: Drivers on southbound Interstate 5 in Sacramento, Calif., are greeted by a billboard implying the NBA Sacramento Kings might be moving, Feb. 23, 2011. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP