It beginning to look as if Southern California will get a third NBA team. This one playing in Anaheim.
It's a outcome Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson seems to have resigned himself to.
Rumors have been flying this season that the Sacramento Kings were leaving California's capitol city. Confirmation that it was more than just rumors came from none other than the NBA's grand poohbah David Stern.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait confirmed Tuesday that negotiations are ongoing with the Kings to bring the franchise to Anaheim where they would play at the Honda Center.
"This is something this city has been waiting 18 years for," Tait said in an interview with the Orange County Register. "I am very excited."
In his blog Johnson, who you may remember was an all-star guard for the Phoenix Suns, wrote, " First we heard from NBA Commissioner David Stern, who said rumors about the Kings’ talks with Anaheim were more than rumors."
"Next was the decision by the Kings not to share financial market data with the team of professionals selected by the City Council to study the feasibility of our new entertainment and sports complex.
"Then we saw the Kings playing games in “Royals” uniforms – supposedly to celebrate their history when the club was based in Rochester, N.Y., and Cincinnati from 1948 to 1972."
You can read Mayor Johnson's blog right here: http://www.kevinjohnson.com/KevinsBlog/tabid/98/Article/809/watching-kings-prepare-to-leave-is-like-slow-death.aspx
And it looks as if "Royals" would return. Earlier this month the Maloof brothers who own the franchise filed for a trademark with names. Among the names filed for according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website were: Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals. The filing was made on March 3rd. The Maloofs have until April 18th to file with the league for relocation.
The Kings have been a transient franchise. The team began in Rochester, NY as the "Rochester Royals before moving to Cincinnati in 1957. In 1972 they franchise changed their name to "King" after moving to Kansas City. They kept the "Kings" nickname for their fourth move to Sacramento in 1985.
They would have to change back to "Royals" since the Los Angeles Kings play hockey up the road in downtown L.A.