The billionaire thought to be Sacramento's best bet at keeping the Kings met with the NBA on Thursday to express his interest in buying the team and to advocate for building an arena at the site of the Downtown Plaza.

Ron Burkle, the Southern California grocery tycoon, sat down with NBA Commissioner David Stern at the league offices in New York, league spokesman Mike Bass said. The meeting, which lasted two hours, was brokered by Mayor Kevin Johnson.

A source told The Bee that the discussion focused not only on the Kings, but on Burkle's desire to help build an arena at the current site of Downtown Plaza – and not the downtown railyard. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions to team up on a bid for the Kings and to help the city of Sacramento finance a new downtown sports arena, sources and associates of both men have told The Bee.