Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is taking his fight to keep the Kings in California's capital city to NBA owners.
Speaking at the annual State of Downtown breakfast on Tuesday, Johnson said he has received approval from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to the league from buyers who would keep the team in Sacramento. He said the city is in a "six-week sprint" to put together a proposal for the NBA's Board of Governors to consider over a potential sale and relocation to Seattle.
The league's deadline for teams to apply for a move for the next season is March 1, though that has been extended each of the last two years for the Kings. And both times, Johnson -- a former NBA All-Star -- has convinced the league that Sacramento could help fix the franchise's financial woes and secure its long-term home in a new arena.
"We want this to be the final act of a saga that's gone on for far too long," Johnson said.
San Francisco-based investor Chris Hansen, who wants to return the NBA to Seattle, reportedly has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Kings.
One person said the Kings could sell for more than $500 million, topping the NBA-record $450 million the Warriors sold for in 2010. Some reports have suggested up to $525 million.
Nets 113, Raptors 106: Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and Brooklyn
A .500 team when they fired Avery Johnson late last month, Brooklyn has won nine of 10 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and pulled within 1½ games of the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.
Clippers 117, Rockets 109: Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 30 points, including 12 straight to start the fourth quarter, and Los Angeles won its second game in a row despite missing star point guard Chris Paul, who is day to day with a bruised right kneecap.
Lakers 104, Bucks 88: Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant also scored 31 points, and Los Angeles got its second straight win after a six-game skid.
Bryant and Howard both had 30-point games for the second time in their brief tenure together, and the Bucks couldn't cope with Bryant's outside game or Howard's inside dominance. Monta Ellis scored 17 points for Milwaukee.
Pacers 103, Bobcats 76: Roy Hibbert had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Indiana handed Charlotte its 13th straight home loss. With team owner Michael Jordan looking on from the bench, the Bobcats lost their fifth in a row. They've dropped 24 of 26 since Thanksgiving.
Nuggets 115, Trail Blazers 111: Wilson Chandler hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime as Denver earned its season-best sixth consecutive victory. Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period.
Timberwolves: Kevin Love is expected to return sometime in March after undergoing surgery on his broken right hand. The team announced Tuesday that the operation to repair Love's third and fourth metacarpal bones was successful.