A Royal Ruler in Orlando
In his second tour of NBA All-Star Weekend in as many years, center DeMarcus Cousins appeared giddy about the opportunity to be here representing the Sacramento Kings.
“It is a big deal,” Cousins said before finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars game Friday evening. “They could have chosen anybody and they chose me to represent and so I am going to do it well.”
With Cousins is a dozen family and friends. Everyone from his mom to his agent to his best friend is in Orlando to take in parties, Disney World and the 80-degree weather.
Mayor Kevin Johnson is in Orlando to meet with NBA Commissioner David Stern to hash out the financial term sheet for an estimated $387-million entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento.
The sides will further discuss what the NBA/Kings will contribute to the construction of a new downtown arena.
Along with Johnson is Assistant City Manager John Dangberg, City Manager John Shirey, Mayor’s Chief of Staff Kunal Merchant, Jeremiah Jackson of Think Big Sacramento and sports finance consultant Dan Barrett of Barrett Sports Group.
The NBA also has its top business and financial council in Harvey Benjamin and Joel Litvin, who is the president of league operations, negotiating with the city of Sacramento.
Both sides hope to have an arena financing plan done by March 1, so that city council can vote on the term sheet at its March 6 meeting.
Whether he knows it or not, a Kings player from the past is inspiring Sacramento-native Ryan Anderson for Saturday’s Three Point Contest.
“I will always remember watching Peja Stojakovic in the three point contest and how exciting that was,” the Oak Ridge High School alum said Friday. “Those guys were like gods in Sacramento growing up for me. It is pretty amazing to be in the same shoes as them now.”
The Orlando Magic forward is the current league leader in three-point buckets made at 99. He is shooting 43-percent from beyond the arc.
Video: Rob McAllister catches up with Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson at All-Star Weekend
Weekly contributor/columnist Rob McAllister is in Orlando for the 2012 NBA All-Star festivities. Follow him on Twitter for updates from the Sunshine State.