HoopsHype Mark Mastrov rumors

January 23, 2013 Updates

Billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions to team up on a bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and partner with the city of Sacramento on a plan to help finance a new downtown sports arena, The Bee has learned. A source familiar with the negotiations told The Bee late Tuesday that Burkle and Mastrov are both committed to keeping the team in Sacramento and building the Kings into a contender. The teaming of Burkle and Mastrov is seen by city officials as a "dream team" counteroffer to the group that this week reached a deal with the Maloof family to buy the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle, the source said. Sacramento Bee

Billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions to team up on a bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and partner with the city of Sacramento on a plan to help finance a new downtown sports arena, The Bee has learned. A source familiar with the negotiations told The Bee that Burkle and Mastrov are both committed to keeping the team in Sacramento and building the Kings into a contender. The teaming of Burkle and Mastrov is seen by city officials as a "dream team" counter offer to the group that this week agreed to buy the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle, the source said. Sacramento Bee

Burkle's track record with the Penguins is appealing to the city, according to the source. He purchased the franchise when it was struggling and helped it secure a new arena and win a Stanley Cup. Sacramento Bee

Burkle is known to be focused on the arena plan that is unfolding at Sacramento's downtown plaza, where the property's new owners, JMA Ventures, have shown an interest in partnering with prospective owners of the Kings on the project. Mastrov made a serious bid to buy the Golden State Warriors before the team was purchased by the Joe Lacob/Peter Guber group in July 2010. USA Today Sports

January 14, 2013 Updates

The Maloofs own the team, and they aren't interested in selling to anyone interested in keeping the team in Sacramento. Not Ron Burkle, the billionaire founder of the Yucaipa Companies, who tried to buy the team from the Maloofs two years ago. Not Mark Mastrov, the founder of the 24-Hour Fitness chain, who tried to buy the Warriors in 2010 and said this weekend he'd be up for buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento. The Maloofs have already implemented plans for a cash call to their minority investors to try and raise capital to pay some of their debts, but that's not going to change their overall intent. "They've got a clean path" to Seattle, one industry source said last week. NBA.com

January 12, 2013 Updates

Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov, the founder of the 24 Hour Fitness chain, told The Bee he has assembled a group to buy the Kings and "work with the city to get an arena deal if possible." Mastrov was a finalist two years ago in the bidding for the Golden State Warriors, with his reported offer of $350 million falling short. The team ultimately was sold for an NBA-record $450 million, which Mastrov said he "could not see clear" to match. He added that he has "been in touch with the Maloofs" about a possible purchase. Sacramento Bee

Mastrov said Johnson is aware of his interest in buying the Kings. "(Owning an NBA franchise) is a passion of mine," he said. "I love basketball and I love the NBA." Mastrov, who lives in Lafayette, is one of the fitness industry's "most respected" executives, said Pamela Kufahl, editor-in-chief of Club Industry magazine. Sacramento Bee

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn't won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open. "(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I'm going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized)," Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1. USA Today Sports

Reports also surfaced about potential buyers invested in keeping the Kings in Sacramento. Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness, confirmed his interest in the team to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. When asked, the mayor neither confirmed nor denied that he’s had conversations with the fitness magnate about purchasing the team on Sacramento’s behalf. “Honestly, there are a number of people that are excited about the opportunity to own the Sacramento Kings and keep them here,” Johnson replied while meeting and greeting dozens of attendees at Friday’s banquet that raised approximately $450,000 for St. Hope. ”This is something that we knew was in the works for quite some time. It just became official that they finally publicly acknowledged the team is on the market.” Cowbell Kingdom

January 11, 2013 Updates

Even as the Maloof family negotiates with a Seattle group that would move the Kings there, another potential buyer who would keep the team in Sacramento has emerged, CBSSports.com has learned. Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24-Hour Fitness who finished second to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber in bidding for the Warriors, told CBSSports.com Friday that he has interest in buying the Kings and keeping the franchise in Sacramento. "Definitely, there've been conversations," Mastrov said from his northern California office. "Definitely, there's interest in acquiring the team and keeping it in Sacramento." CBSSports.com

Mastrov met with the Maloofs recently, and two league sources speaking on condition of anonymity said he has made a formal offer. Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has long been interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento, and is well known to NBA owners who would approve any sale. But having made it to the final round of the process with the Warriors sale, Mastrov is familiar with the NBA process and league executives are familiar with him. A Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is deep in negotiations to buy the team for upwards of $500 million and move it to Seattle. Those discussions are ongoing, and league sources indicate a formal deal has not been struck. One person briefed on the negotiations said the Maloofs' intentions remained difficult to read, except in one area: "They are pushing for a bidding war." CBSSports.com

Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24-hour Fitness, told The Bee today that he has assembled a group that wants to buy the team and keep them in Sacramento. The group also wants to "work with the city to get an arena deal if possible." "There's definitely interest," he said, as reports swirled that the Maloof family had already made a deal to sell the team to a Seattle group. "We've been in touch with the Maloofs." Sacramento Bee

Mastrov said that Mayor Kevin Johnson is aware of his interest in buying the team and that he's been focused on purchasing the Kings "for a long time." "(Owning an NBA franchise) is a passion of mine," he said. "I love basketball and I love the NBA." Sacramento Bee

Also today, Dale Carlsen of Sleep Train Mattress Centers Inc. - whose company is the naming sponsor of the Kings' current arena in Natomas - said he has talked to Mayor Johnson since news surfaced Wednesday of a possible Kings sale to the Seattle group. Carlsen said he's definitely interested in participating in a bid, and has been contacted by other potential investors as well. "My hope is we're given an opportunity as a community to put our offer in," Carlsen said today. "There's several groups that are trying to put that together." Sacramento Bee

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