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Old 01-22-13, 12:35 AM
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Source: Buford will not be going anywhere

By Mike Monroe

PHILADELPHIA — Speculation that the proposed new owners of the Kings franchise will seek to pry R.C. Buford away from the Spurs when, and if, the purchase is approved and the team moves to Seattle has been met with bemusement within the Spurs’ organization.

A source within the organization said that the Spurs’ general manager “is not going anywhere.

“He loves living in San Antonio and loves what we have built here,” the source said. “You could probably find about 25 of the other 29 franchises that would like to have R.C., so the speculation is understandable, but he’s staying with the Spurs.”

A group led by Seattle hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reached an agreement for the transfer of controlling interest in the Kings from the Maloof family.

The transaction “is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board’s committee process for review,” the league said in a statement.

Spurs owner Peter Holt is chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Buford is in his 22nd season with the Spurs, 18 of them as part of Gregg Popovich’s basketball operations department. In 2002, he was named Spurs general manager, and the title of president of sports franchises was added in 2008, giving him oversight of the Spurs, Silver Stars, Austin Toros and Rampage.

A great role model: The most outspoken of the Spurs, veteran forward Stephen Jackson, took time before Monday’s tipoff to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The Spurs-Sixers game was one of nine played on Martin Luther King Day, and the slain civil rights leader was remembered before all of them.

“It means a lot to me,” Jackson said of the league’s annual tribute to King. “I wouldn’t be the outspoken, dominant, comfortable and secure man that I am today if it wasn’t for Dr. Martin Luther King. A lot of African-American guys in the league wouldn’t be.

“Just to be able to play on this day and, really, just to be able to speak my opinion about this today means more than anything.”

Jackson said the inauguration of President Barack Obama made this Martin Luther King Day even more meaningful.

“God doesn’t make mistakes,” he said.

“I think all this is definitely a sign. It’s all happening for a reason. I think it’s the first time the inauguration falls on Martin Luther King Day, though it’s not his actual birthday. But it’s special to have (the president) beginning his second term on Martin Luther King Day.

“I’m just happy to be alive and able to see it and say I’m one of those who helped put President Obama back in the White House.”

Spurs Nation
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