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  • Jose Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

    Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive is all smiles after the arena broke the Guinness Record for noise in the first quarter of Friday nights NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons on November 15, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

  • Jose Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

    Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive watches as Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson embraces NBA Commissioner David Stern between the first and second quarters on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, the NBA season opener between the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena.

  • Shaquille O'Neal smiles during a news conference where he was welcomed as one of the Kings' new minority owners, as majority owners Vivek Ranadive, center, and Mark Mastrov, left, look on. Ranadive added O'Neal to the ownership group and has asked the former Los Angeles Laker's center to mentor the Kings center, DeMarcus Cousins.

Poll

Do you feel secure that the Kings will never leave Sacramento?

Leading Off: In Kings’ saga, it’s a day to celebrate

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 - 8:14 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 - 6:41 pm

One year go today will perhaps be remembered as one of the most important in the history of professional sports in Sacramento.

On Jan. 9, 2013, the Maloofs reached an agreement to sell the Kings to a group from Seattle led by Chris Hansen, catching many folks in Sacramento off-guard, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, even though it confirmed what had been long rumored – that the Maloofs were planning to sell the team, despite their public denials, and let them leave town.

Most important, it set in motion the wheeling and dealing that eventually led the NBA to reject the sale to Hansen and instead approve a sale to a group led by Vivek Ranadive, who had brokered a deal with the city for a new downtown arena that would be ready for Opening Night in 2016.

That approval began a new era for the Kings in Sacramento.

The vilified Maloofs finally were out of the picture, replaced by Ranadive, the software billionaire, and his partners, including Mark Mastrov of 24-Hour Fitness fame. Ranadive and Mastrov have been very visible at Kings games, in sharp contrast to the absentee ownership of the past few years.

Ranadive quickly brought in a new management team and spent millions sprucing up the tired arena.

Though the Kings haven’t found much success yet on the court, they’ve made bold moves, including acquiring Rudy Gay, and no one will be surprised if veteran Andre Miller is soon added to the roster.

While they’ve stressed patience with the team, plans for the arena are rapidly advancing, despite the opposition’s push for a ballot measure, and ground-breaking is expected this year.

When the arena opens, it will be assurance that the Kings are here to stay.


Today’s poll

Do you feel secure that the Kings will never leave Sacramento?

• Yes, I can’t wait for the new arena.

• Maybe, if the arena opens on time.

• No, the arena won’t ever be built.

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports


Wednesday’s results

Will Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner ?

• Yes: 15%

• No: 85%

Total votes: 86

Read more articles by Tom Couzens



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