The Sacramento Kings will name the street leading to the front door of their new arena in honor of David Stern.
Stern helped keep the Kings from relocating away from Sacramento.
“When I learned we would have the option of naming the road, it was a no-brainer for me,” Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive told The Sacramento Bee on Monday. “There were no other names on my list. David took the NBA to the global level and started the WNBA, but he is about so much more than basketball. He is one of the greatest leaders in the world, and on top of that, the team would not be in Sacramento without David Stern.”
Stern was told about the plan during a visit from Ranadive in April.
“Vivek asked if he could stop by, and I said, ‘Sure,’ ” Stern said late Monday. “He said, ‘In light of your 30 years as commissioner and everything you have done for Sacramento, we’d like to name the street on which Golden 1 Center sits in your name.’ I was deeply touched. I said, ‘Now what do I do?’ He said, ‘You have to come out for the dedication on Sept. 30 and the first home game of the season (date to be determined).’ I said, ‘Sure.’ ”
Stern convinced the league’s owners to resist the Maloofs’ proposed relocation to Anaheim in 2011. In 2013, he helped assemble the ownership group headed by Ranadive, a move that thwarted the Maloofs’ sale of the franchise to Seattle’s Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen.