Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announced Friday that the deal for the Maloof family to sell the Kings to software billionaire Vivek Ranadive has been signed.
The announcement came two days after the NBA Board of Governors voted 22-8 to turn down the Maloofs' proposed sale of the team to a group planning to move the franchise to Seattle. And it came after five months of work to put an ownership group together, organize a viable plan for a new arena and convince the NBA's owners that the Kings were better served by remaining in Sacramento.
The franchise was valued at $523 million for the sale, an NBA record according to ESPN. Ranadive, who had to divest his minority ownership in the Golden State Warriors, will purchase 65 percent of the Kings from the Maloof family, and his group put more than $341 million in escrow to ensure the deal could be executed.
The next step is for a stadium project to be announced.
Ranadive will be the first owner of Indian descent in the NBA. Included in the ownership group is former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, 24-Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov, the Jacobs Family, which runs Qualcomm communications company and Raj Bhathal, who made his fortune in swimwear with Raj Manufacturing but was once the owner of a World Football League team in Orlando.
--Retired coach Phil Jackson said Thursday night he was interested in a front-office post with the Seattle group, which failed in a bid to relocate the Sacramento Kings.
"I had communication with the guy that's trying to make this move," Jackson said on the Tonight Show, referencing Chris Hansen, the ringleader of the Seattle bid. "It was serious talk. I thought he was a really good guy for the league."
---Jerry Sloan is willing to return to coaching in the NBA at age 71, but he's not planning to take just any opportunity that might come up.
His agent, Keith Glass, told NBA.com, that Sloan is not ready to commit to a job with the Milwaukee Bucks, who talked to Sloan about their coaching vacancy.
"The bottom line is, Jerry doesn't really feel it's the right fit for him right now," Glass said.
---European-born Ettore Messina, an Italian coach who presides over CSKA Moscow, is one of the Atlanta Hawks' top candidates to replace coach Larry Drew. Messina recently met with general manager Danny Ferry in London, according to Yahoo.
The Hawks could make a swift move to hire the 53-year old, two-time Euroleague coach of the year who has nine titles combined in the Russian and Italian professional leagues.
Messina was a member of Mike Brown's coaching staff with the Lakers temporarily in 2011, but left for a $1 million salary in Russia.
---Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah has not yet decided whether he will have surgery to repair the plantar fasciitis in his foot.
"That hasn't been determined,'' coach Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Sun-Times regarding Noah's possible surgery. "Obviously, we'd like to avoid the surgery. He has responded a lot better."
---Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill, who missed Thursday's Game 5 of the series against the New York Knicks with a concussion, was scheduled to take a concussion test Friday, coach Frank Vogel told the Indianapolis Star.
Results of the test were not available Friday afternoon. He needs to pass the test to be cleared to participate in Game 6.