SACRAMENTO, CA - Due to a potential conflict of interest, investor Ron Burkle's financial participation in the Sacramento Kings "Here We Buy" campaign will strictly be with the development around a downtown sports and entertainment venue and not team ownership or the arena itself.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Burkle, an owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins who made his fortune in the grocery store business, owns Relativity Media which has contracts with current NBA players and ownership of a team would violate NBA rules.
Micahel Bass, NBA spokesman, stated: "Ron Burkle is no longer part of the Sacramento group because his ownership interest in Relativity Media - which has a division that represents NBA players - would violate NBA rules."
The issue arose during last week's presentation before the league's relocation and finance committees.
Johnson described the loss of Burkle as one of four major partners in buying the team as "not that big of a deal."
Meantime, the mayor said TIBCO Software Inc. founder Vivek Ranadive was taking more of a leading role in the plans and that he, Mark Mastrov (24-Hour Fitness) and the Jacobs family (Qualcomm) were still the major players.
Should the Sacramento offer be approved by NBA owners and the Maloofs, current Kings majority owners, Ranadive himself would have to divest of his limited interest in the Golden State Warriors.