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City of Sacramento, NBA work on arena deal

Trail Blazers center Greg Oden can't catch a break with another season ending in surgery.

February 25, 2012|By Ben Bolch
  • Sacramento Kings owners Gavin, left, and Joe Maloof may not move their NBA franchise to Anaheim or Seattle after all.
Sacramento Kings owners Gavin, left, and Joe Maloof may not move their NBA… (Steve Yeater / Associated…)

Still seeking a fit for Kings

Sorry, Seattle.

Apologies, Anaheim.

The NBA appears to be on the verge of sending its regrets to the cities that hoped to entice the Sacramento Kings to relocate after this season. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and NBA Commissioner David Stern were scheduled to meet during the All-Star break in Orlando, Fla., to devise a plan to finance a new arena before the league's deadline Thursday.

If the sides agree on a proposal, the Sacramento City Council would decide at its March 6 meeting whether to accept the deal. Approval would essentially guarantee that the Kings stay put, so long as team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof endorse the terms.

The Kings reportedly are expected to be asked to contribute $75 million to $100 million toward a proposed $387-million arena that would open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards. Most of the balance would be raised by the city of Sacramento and arena operator AEG, which also runs Staples Center.

"Our approach makes good on the principles that have guided us throughout this process: protecting the taxpayers, creating jobs and pursuing an open and transparent process," Johnson said.

Too bad the same concepts can't be used to fix the dreadful Kings.

Another setback for Oden

Has anything gone right for Greg Oden since the Portland Trail Blazers made him the first pick in the 2007 draft? (And no, the oft-injured center pocketing more than $23 million in salary doesn't count.)

Oden underwent his fifth — fifth! — knee surgery last week after doctors performing a minor operation on his left knee found there was a need for a more extensive microfracture procedure. Oden, who has not played in a game since Dec. 5, 2009, is expected to be sidelined for at least another year.

Oden reportedly does not plan to retire, but Portland isn't exactly banking on his return. The team signed free-agent center Joel Przybilla and was thought to be considering waiving Oden to make room for Przybilla on its roster if the former longtime Trail Blazer passed a physical scheduled for Sunday.

That means Oden could be out after five years, 82 games and many, many more regrets among Portland fans.

Just for kicks?

Former NBA scoring champion Allen Iverson is being given a chance to put a different ball into a net.

In a publicity stunt, the Rochester (N.Y.) Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League offered Iverson $20,000 per game plus other performance bonuses to join their team for the final two games of the regular season.

It's not as though Iverson couldn't use the money. He blew through more than $200 million in salary and endorsement deals, according to a Forbes report, and has been ordered to repay an Atlanta jeweler roughly $860,000, an amount that Iverson contends he does not have.

Iverson is expected to decline the Lancers' offer, particularly if they expect him to attend practice.

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