Mayor KJ tells Seattle 'don't celebrate too early'
Many of those who participated in that plan, from public officials to private investors, showed up at City Hall again to offer their vote — or checkbooks — one more time.
‘‘The reason I'm committed to become a local member of the Kings’ ownership is I really feel that we as a community need to get a return on all the hours and emotions that we spent trying to keep the team here,’’ Taylor said. ‘‘I think we’re owed a return on our investment.’’
Johnson maintains that Sacramento’s biggest reason to be optimistic is that NBA Commissioner David Stern has granted him permission to address league owners and present a new ownership group and plan to keep the Kings.
The mayor commended Seattle’s efforts to be an NBA city again, which includes Hansen reaching an agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a $490 million NBA/NHL arena near the city’s other stadiums, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field. No construction will begin on that project — which also faces a pair of lawsuits — until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured.
Seattle hoops fans have been reeling since Sonics owner Clay Bennett, ironically the chair of the NBA relocation committee now, moved the franchise to Oklahoma City in 2008.
‘‘When I played in the NBA for 12 years, Seattle had some of the best fans in the NBA,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘No different than Sacramento. Incredible fans. And when they lost their team a couple years ago, it was devastating to me, because those fans fought like crazy and rallied and they cheered on the home team. And I strongly believe they deserve an NBA team at some point. Just not ours.’’
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP