Retired Sacramento Kings player Mitch Richmond.
SACRAMENTO, CA - Retired Sacramento Kings legend is once again offering his support to save the Sacramento Kings from leaving town, only this time he's investing his own money.
"(Sacramento) really game me a lot," Richmond said during a publilc relations campaign to greet a few dozen fans at the Firestone Public House in midtown. "The city, the team, the fans really stood behind me from day one...We sold-out every night, it was really, truely exciting."
The 47-year-old Richmond has pledged $1 million to be part of a local ownership group to team with billionaires Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle to purchase the Kings and keep them from the clutches of a Seattle investment group, headed by Chris Hansen and Steve Balmer, who would relocate the franchise to the Pacific Northwest.
This isn't the first time Richmond has campaigned to save the Kings.
In 1997, Richmond joined fans on the steps of Sacramento City Council to support the efforts of the city issued loan of $70 million.
"The Kings mean a lot to this community," Richmond said. "It would just be a sad day if the Kings leave this community."
The group of local investors pledging $1 million has grown with Richmond's involvement.
Also pledging to join the local ownership group is David Dworkin, a cousin of NBA Hall of Famer Lester Harrison, who was a founder of the Rochester Royals - the originating franchise that became the Sacramento Kings. Dworkin joined Richmond in Thursday's meet-and-greet.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net