LAS VEGAS – Jerry Colangelo knows Kevin Johnson very well. In their previous lives as part of the NBA, Colangelo was majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and made a fateful trade that brought Johnson from Cleveland to the Arizona desert. The two would have incredible success in the world’s greatest basketball league, where Johnson helped lead the Suns 20 years ago to an NBA Finals appearance against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Though they’ve since moved on to different ventures (Johnson, now mayor of Sacramento and Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball) the two have remained close. And when the city of Sacramento was in danger of losing its only major league team, Johnson called on Colangelo for his expertise.
“I tried to counsel him and give him advice along the way regarding the Kings and what needed to be done with the NBA,” Colangelo said following day two of USA Basketball’s mini-camp on the campus of UNLV yesterday.
Did Colangelo really think Johnson had a shot to save the Sacramento Kings? Find out by hearing his thoughts in the video below.
James Ham also contributed to this post.