Mayor to take Kings issue to NBA Board of Governors


Mayor to take Kings issue to NBA Board of Governors


SACRAMENTO (AP) The capital city isn't losing its NBA team without a fight.

Mayor Kevin Johnson plans to attend the NBA Board of Governors meeting next month to plead Sacramento's case to keep the Kings. The former NBA All-Star wrote on his blog Thursday night that he will give the league one final pitch to prevent the Kings from moving south to Anaheim and take steps to lure a franchise back should they leave.

"There's still a little time left on the clock regarding our future with the Kings," Johnson said. "Second, Sacramento means business when it comes to continuing our 25-year partnership with the NBA."

Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof appear determined to relocate to Southern California next fall. About the only thing standing in their way is a majority vote of the NBA's owners.

The Board of Governors meetings are April 14-15 in New York. Johnson said the league already has granted his request to attend and speak on behalf of Sacramento.

An NBA spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. The league, which along with the Maloofs has not commented on most relocation talk, already has granted the Kings an extension until April 18 to file a request -- mere days after the Board of Governors meet.

Johnson said he spoke with former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory about how the Southern city dealt with the loss of the Hornets -- who moved to New Orleans after the 2001-02 season -- and, perhaps more importantly, how the city quickly lured back an NBA franchise. The Charlotte Bobcats formed in 2004, the league's last expansion team.

Plans were still being made, Johnson said, but he will likely bring business and community leaders with him from Sacramento and the Central Valley to speak to NBA owners.

"They will want to know about possibilities of a new arena in Sacramento, and whether after all these years, our community can finally deliver," Johnson said. "But the bottom line is, the opportunity to speak straight to the NBA is a huge step for our community. It puts our destiny exactly where it belongs: back in our own hands."

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.