It’s Anaheim’s turn…to answer the call?

Randy Youngman of the OC Register is reporting this morning that a conference call is set for today between Clay Bennett, owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and chairman of the NBA’s relocation committee, the Maloof family who own majority interest in the Sacramento Kings, and Henri Samueli’s Anaheim Arena Management company that controls the Honda center.  According to Youngman:

During Wednesday’s conference call, the committee is expected to relay its findings to the Maloof family, which months ago decided to explore its options because of repeated failures to secure funding for a new arena to replace antiquated Power Balance Pavilion (formerly ARCO Arena) in Sacramento.

Whatever the relocation committee concludes, the Maloofs still would have the right to submit an application to move the franchise to Anaheim. A majority vote of the 30 NBA owners would be needed to approve relocation.

Things have been extremely quiet on the Anaheim front as NBA executives have twice rolled through Sacramento.  Our friend Jon Santiago wrote an excellent piece for SBNation Bay Area this morning, in which he tracked down some of the major players from Anaheim’s side.  While Sacramento has been busy fighting for the Kings, the folks down in Anaheim seemed to assume that this was a done deal:

Everybody seems to be for it,” Ahlers said.  “The city of Anaheim wants to do it.  They thought they’d have a deal with the (Maloof) family in order to get that done, and now we’re a little bit disappointed that we’re looking at a delay.

-Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau President Charles Ahlers

Anaheim is looking at a “delay”.  During that Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento is working feverishly to get his stadium financing ducks in a row.  That delay might be a little longer than expected Anaheim.

There is no telling where this saga will go next.  Youngman of the OC Register is correct, the Maloofs could still turn around and file for relocation at any time between now and May 2nd, even if the relocation committee recommends another season in Sacramento.  While the people of Sacramento anxiously hold their breath, Anaheim get’s a phone call.


James Ham

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