HANG TIME WEST – Negotiations between the Kings and city officials to keep the NBA in Sacramento suffered another serious blow Friday as mayor Kevin Johnson said attempts to re-work the deal have failed.
After meeting with Kings co-owner George Maloof for the second day in a row, Johnson said at a press conference that differences over plans to build a new downtown arena are “irreconcilable.”
“We know this door is closed,” the mayor added, as quoted by the Sacramento Bee.
It was not immediately clear, however, whether Johnson, the former Suns All-Star point guard, believed there is no hope of any deal with the Maloofs or whether it is the current frame work that cannot be saved. It is obviously an important distinction, especially at a time negotiations have been so publicly nasty and both sides have retracted previous statements and gone back to the negotiating table.
Eric W. Rose, a spokesman for the Maloofs, said no further meetings are scheduled, and the family has constantly stated it has no plans to file for relocation. Johnson said he would move forward with plans to build a new arena without the Kings.
“The Kings will continue the operations of the organization and building on the franchise’s young nucleus of players,” Rose said.