Billionaire Burkle drops out of Sacramento's bid to keep Kings

Billionaire Burkle drops out of Sacramento's bid to keep Kings
Sacramento Kings fans hold signs and cheer during a timeout in an NBA basketball game against Charlotte Bobcats in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 3, 2013.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Billionaire Ron Burkle will not be part of Sacramento's bid to keep the Kings after all.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Monday that a conflict of interest forced Burkle to back out.

Instead, Johnson said the Southern California businessman and co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins will focus on the development around a proposed new downtown arena - and not the arena itself.

Burkle is part-owner of Relativity Sports, which manages some NBA players' careers. Johnson said the conflict surfaced during a meeting with NBA Commissioner David Stern and league owners in New York last week and "it won't slow us up."

Burkle had been expected to lead the development of a Sacramento arena. He also planned to join other wealthy investors trying to block a bid from a group that is hoping to buy and move the Kings to Seattle next season.