Sacramento Kings fans show their support for the franchise during a game… (Steve Yeater / Associated…)
The NBA's board of governors Tuesday extended the Sacramento Kings' deadline to April 18 to apply to move their franchise, thus allowing the team's owners an opportunity to present their options to a full league meeting April 14-15.
Speculation, including that of Sacramento's Mayor Kevin Johnson, is that the Kings are planning a move to Anaheim's Honda Center for next season.
FOR THE RECORD:
Sacramento Kings: In the March 2 Sports section, an article about the possible relocation of the NBA's Sacramento Kings identified Curt Pringle as Anaheim's mayor. In fact, Pringle is a former mayor of Anaheim; the current Anaheim mayor is Tom Tait. —
Spokespeople for the Honda Center and Anaheim declined to comment Tuesday. A Kings spokesman said the team had nothing to add to the league statement.
At a news conference, Johnson, a former player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, said, "The likelihood of them leaving is probably greater than them staying.
"It's clear [the Kings] are looking to try to strike or create a deal with Anaheim. … If they don't get a deal, they'll choose Sacramento. I don't think Sacramento has a whole lot of say right now."
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have made several visits to the Honda Center to meet with arena officials. It would take a majority vote by the 30 NBA owners to approve any move.
There have already been internal arena discussions in Anaheim about the need to change the Kings' name because the NHL's Kings are the leading rival of the Honda Center's original occupant, the Ducks.
Johnson said he spoke to Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle last week, and plans to meet with the Maloofs by Thursday and talk to NBA Commissioner David Stern on Wednesday.
"I'll reiterate how badly we want to keep [the Kings] here. Our city deserves to have an NBA franchise," Johnson said after watching the Kings beat the Clippers on Monday at Sacramento's Arco Arena with the Maloofs in attendance. "We, as a city, can't control the outcome, but we can support the team."
Johnson said doing so will demonstrate not only the city's "25-year love affair" with the Kings, but prove Sacramento can support an NBA team. Johnson said he's rallying regional and business leaders in an effort to build a new entertainment and sports complex — with or without the Kings.