Kings Go Forth?

The possibility of the NBA’s Kings moving from Sacramento and its anchor venue, Arco Arena, is becoming more likely.

The Kings filed a request Feb. 24 for an extension on the NBA’s March 1 deadline to inform the league if they intend to seek permission to relocate next season. It is considered the strongest signal yet majority owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have lost patience with Sacramento’s attempts to build a new arena for the team.

Meanwhile, Anaheim has been searching for a basketball team to habitate the city-owned Honda Center with the NHL’s Ducks. The Honda Center has 83 luxury suites compared with 30 at the Arco Arena. If the Kings move to Orange County, they will take up residence with the L.A. Lakers and Clippers.

The Kings would have the opportunity to discuss their options at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings April 14-15.

NBA Commissioner David Stern confirmed the Kings have been in discussion with Anaheim.

“With respect to Sacramento, all I’ll say is that we and they have tried very hard over the years to see whether a new building could be built, and with the collapse of the last attempt, which took a few years and several million dollars on behalf of the league, I said we are not going to spend any more time on that,” Stern said. “This is for the Maloofs and the people of Sacramento.”

The filing took Sacramento Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson by surprise. “We’re going to fight. The deal is not done,” he said at a news conference.

Meanwhile, an advertising agency has launched a $150,000 campaign to keep the Kings in the city. One billboard reads: ‘Game Over. If the Kings leave, we all lose.”

If the team leaves Sacramento and does not go to Anaheim, other potential cities are Las Vegas and its old stomping ground, Kansas City, which is still waiting for a pro-sports team to anchor its Sprint Center.

Not all of the Kings owners are on board with a move. Minority owners Bob Cook and Joe Benvenuti, Sacramento-based real estate developers, told the Sacramento Bee they want to keep the team in the city but, with combined 25 percent ownership, they do not have the leverage it takes to overcome the Maloofs’ decision.