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A small crowd at a Seattle restaurant was subdued as word spread that the franchise wasn’t coming, while horns blared and cheers erupted from bars in Sacramento.
"In Kevin Johnson we trust," said season-ticket holder Jim Amen, who wore the jersey of No. 16 Peja Stojakovic, the Kings’ first-round draft pick in 1996. "This meant a lot to our city. It’s not just about basketball, but about revitalizing our downtown."
About a dozen Sacramento supporters wearing Kings jerseys and "Small Market Big Heart" T-shirts waited most of the day in the Dallas hotel to hear what turned out to be good news. Not so for a handful of fans in green and gold hoping for the return of the Sonics.
"It’s been a roller coaster for both cities, but we’ve never looked at this as a competition between Seattle and Sacramento," Johnson said. "We thought this was about what we needed to do to keep our team in Sacramento. We’d take a back seat to no city when it comes to the way we support our team."
Now they have the backing of NBA owners.
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