How Mayor KJ kept the NBA in Sacramento

By Antonio Gonzalez

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 16 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this photo taken Friday, May 13, 2011, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, left, discuss the Sacramento Kings basketball team with California state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, in Steinberg's Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif. Johnson, a former NBA all-star with the Phoenix Suns, has worked the last couple of months to keep the Kings in Sacramento .

Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Just before his meeting with NBA owners to decide the fate of the Sacramento Kings, Kevin Johnson clicked on the television and found an unlikely source of inspiration.

A documentary was airing about the Baltimore Colts' infamous middle-of-the-night move to Indianapolis. He saw how Baltimore's marching band kept playing, kept fighting, kept bringing attention to the city until it was finally rewarded with a new NFL franchise.

That same kind of motivation is what propelled Sacramento's mayor to fight for the Kings.

The culmination of his efforts will come Tuesday night when Johnson represents the team at the NBA draft lottery. That caps a remarkable turnaround for Sacramento that only a point guard-turned-politician might've been able to make happen.

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