Kings notes: Commissioner Stern likes what he sees from team

Published: Friday, Jul. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 3:13 pm

LAS VEGAS – For the first time in a long while, NBA Commissioner David Stern wasn't bombarded with questions about the instability of the Kings.

After Thursday's board of governors meeting, Stern didn't have to discuss ownership or relocation issues pertaining to the Kings, and said he is pleased with the job Vivek Ranadive's ownership group has done since taking over in late May.

Plans for building a new downtown arena in Sacramento "are straight ahead with respect to the building and acquiring the final pieces of property," Stern said, while the Kings' ticket sales and corporate sponsorship deals are robust.

The Kings lead the NBA in new season-ticket sales.

"Their results are startling in terms of their ticket sales and their sponsorship," Stern said. "And the reception that the community is giving them is as robust as it's ever been. And they have a cheerleader in Mayor (Kevin) Johnson who has always made good on what he's said he would do, and he's going even a step further with that right now. All is well in Sacramento."

Stern also praised the hiring of new CEO Chris Granger from the league office as a positive step for the franchise. Stern called the addition of Granger "grand theft" but "good theft."

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said he would give the new owners an "A" for the progress made.

"So we're thrilled from a league standpoint at the early developments of (the) new ownership group," Silver said.

Rules changes – The league approved five rules changes for the 2013-14 season.

Instant replay can now be used to uphold or overturn whether a player is in the restricted area on block/charge calls.

Replay can also determine if an off-ball foul occurred before or after a player started his shooting motion on a made shot. That also pertains to when the ball is released on throw-ins.

Replay can also be used to decide if penalties should be assessed for unsportsmanlike acts when reviewing replays for other calls.

Clear-path fouls will no longer be called if, at any point before the foul, the defender committing the foul is ahead of the offensive player.

And teams will now lose possession of the ball if a player leaves the floor and does not immediately return to the court. Exceptions include injuries or trying to save the ball from going out of bounds. Some players had taken to standing out of bounds on offense for extended periods.

McCallum signs – The Kings announced they signed second-round draft pick Ray McCallum.

Terms were not disclosed, but a league source said McCallum's deal has three years guaranteed. McCallum was the 36th player selected in last month's NBA draft.

Same old name – The board of governors unanimously approved the Charlotte Bobcats changing their name to the Charlotte Hornets starting with the 2014-15 season.

The change became possible when the New Orleans franchise, which moved from Charlotte in 2002, dropped the Hornets name to become the Pelicans.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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