If you ask most people who they believed was the instrumental figure in helping Sacramento keep the Kings, the answer would be mayor Kevin Johnson. But according to a new book called Vagrant Kings, which covers the “drama-filled legacy” of the franchise, Johnson fought for keeping the Kings while secretly hating them.
So why was Johnson on the frontline of the battle to keep the Kings if he hated them so much? The book claims Johnson was just being a “loyal soldier” to David Stern.
The book, is by the former special assistant to Johnson, who says the mayor cared about the Sacramento economy, not the team.
“Kevin Johnson hates the Kings,” said author R.E. Graswich. “He still holds a grudge from 1987 when they drafted Kenny Smith one spot ahead of Kevin Johnson.”
“Every step of the way, Kevin had a coach,” he said.
The mayor’s been called a hero for keeping the Kings, but Graswich says NBA Commissioner David Stern is the real Sacramento savior.
“It’s David Stern driving this thing. Kevin is the loyal soldier,” he said.
Stern saw the Sacramento Kings as his project. The team moved from Kansas City a year before he became commissioner.