The league will extend its relocation application deadline from this Monday to May 2 so the city can line up ways to keep the team. "We don't know if it's real or pie-in-the-sky, but we'll knock ourselves out finding over the next few weeks," Stern said. But he added that Southern California would be able to support a third franchise if a decision is made to move the team to Anaheim. How the Kings' owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, fit into all this is not known. They've been working with OC billionaire Henry Samueli on a financial package that would have the Kings (aka the Anaheim Royals) move into the Honda Center for next season. Another imponderable is L.A. billionaire Ron Burkle, who has expressed an interest in keeping an NBA club in Sacramento. From AP:
The Maloofs insist they won't sell, and Stern said the sale of the Kings, or another team to Burkle that would be moved to Sacramento if the Kings left, is "not a high priority on our agenda." The relocation committee headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, who moved the SuperSonics from Seattle three years ago, will research some of the assertions made by Johnson and the potential for success in Anaheim while competing against the Lakers and Clippers. The panel also will recommend a relocation fee the Maloofs would have to pay should they move. Stern said Sacramento's problem was the outdated Power Balance Pavilion, not its market size. Johnson told owners Thursday that the city is committed to building a new entertainment center even if the Kings leave.