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Tycoon joins Calif. team to keep NBA's Kings out of Seattle

Tycoon joins Calif. team to keep NBA's Kings out of Seattle
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.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The effort to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle got a boost from a Silicon Valley software tycoon who was introduced as the new lead investor.

Vivek Ranadive will join Sacramento's bid to keep the team, which includes health-club financier Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Ranadive's involvement comes after NBA Commissioner David Stern said earlier this month that the Sacramento group's offer needed to be increased before league owners would consider it.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who recruited the Burkle-Mastrov group, said adding Ranadive takes the effort "to the next level." A former All-Star point guard, Johnson has been working to keep Sacramento's only professional franchise from bolting.

The Maloof family has agreed to sell 65 percent of the team to hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $341 million. Hansen's group plans to move the team to Seattle.

Ranadive is chairman and chief executive of TIBCO Software and already part-owner of the Golden State Warriors. If the bid is successful, he would sell his stake in the Warriors.

Any deal to keep the Kings in California's capital would have to include plans for a new arena, and the city is trying to get its arena proposal approved by the City Council next Tuesday so it can be presented to the league.

On April 3, the NBA is scheduled to hear competing proposals from Seattle and Sacramento. A final decision will be made by the full board of governors in mid-April.
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