The "Anaheim Kings" don't exist yet, but their biggest fan is hoping his support will soon change that.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait was whisked off to New York City on Wednesday to attend the NBA Board of Governors meetings in support of the Sacramento Kings' owners as they make their pitch to move the franchise to Orange County.
"It will be my honor to represent the city of Anaheim as I proudly let [the league] know this city is NBA-ready," Tait told the City Council on Tuesday before he left town.
Tait, along with City Manager Tom Wood, Ducks owner Henry Samueli and Anaheim Arena Management chairman Michael Schulman, are expected to answer questions from NBA committee members as Kings' owners Joe and Gavin Maloof make their case in front of league officials.
Winning the endorsement of the board will be a key factor in making the move a reality. The Maloofs have until Monday to officially apply for the Kings' relocation, after which a majority vote of the 30 NBA owners (including the Maloofs) will be required for approval.
The presentation will take place the morning after what could be the Kings last-ever game in Sacramento, a sold-out contest against the Lakers. The two teams became a step closer in becoming hometown rivals recently, when the Anaheim City Council approved $75 million in lease-revenue bonds that will be used to make improvements to the Honda Center in anticipation of housing an NBA team.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will also be attending the NBA meetings this week, and will make a presentation in an attempt to persuade executives that Sacramento is still capable of supporting an NBA franchise.
Sacramento fans are planning on staging a "sit-in" in protest of the move after the game against the Lakers on Wednesday night.
Emotions up north are running high, prompting the Sacramento Bee's Marcos Breton to write, "No violence tonight. No trash talking. No insults that provoke confrontations. No fights."