Kevin Johnson knows how to work a room.
But considering the Kings-to-Seattle reports of recent days, the Sacramento mayor might need to add a bit more charm tonight.
The special guest for tonight's 16th annual St. HOPE Fundraising Dinner at the Hyatt is LeBron James of the Miami Heat, which plays the Kings on Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena. The focus for the sold-out event is on the arts and St. HOPE's "commitment to providing arts education to its students and the surrounding Oak Park Community."
So paint this picture in your mind: Johnson buddying up with everyone, gauging potential suitors for the Kings.
Who has a healthy line of credit? Pass the donation hat.
James has earned a few bucks in his day. Interested in buying a team, young man? King James? The Sacramento King James?
James' NBA debut with Cleveland was at Arco Arena in 2003, during an era when the Kings were worthy of ESPN specials. Though fresh out of high school, James was a man among Kings with 25 points and nine assists.
Kings TV commentator Jerry Reynolds said that night the only other player he thought was NBA-ready out of high school was Oscar Robertson, the Kings franchise's favorite son. Robertson told us last year that the prospect of a Kings relocation "really upsets me."
He speaks for many.
What to watch
NBA, Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: Kobe and Co. will try to end their five-game losing streak against one of the top teams in the NBA.
How do you rate Kevin Johnson's chances of helping keep the Kings in Sacramento?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
What do the Kings need to become a contender?
A major overhaul: 60%
More young players to develop: 7%
A blockbuster trade: 33%
Total votes: 452