Posted by Matt Moore
This is becoming less of a fight for fans to keep the team they love and more a funeral dirge. Tuesday night Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson posted on his website comments that sound very much like a surrender regarding the Kings' prospective relocation to Anaheim:
It feels like a slow death.via Watching Kings prepare to leave is like slow death > kevinjohnson.com > Kevin's Blog.
From the start of the saga that may soon close the Kings’ era in Sacramento, I have said the community should focus on what it can control, and not worry about decisions that are out of our hands.
The decision to move a business – let’s not forget, the Kings are a business – rests with the owners. We can talk and do our best to persuade, but in the end, the choice to relocate belongs to the people who own the team.
Of course, none of this makes it any easier to watch the steady drip of what will likely be the Kings’ final weeks in Sacramento after 26 years.
Meantime, Sacramento fans take the high road.
Thanks to the fans and groups like Here We Stay, I want to keep fighting to keep the Kings. But another part of me wants this painful drama to end.
Not exactly words of comfort. Even as fans organize rallies and events to try and plea to the Kings, the NBA, the Basketball Gods, someone to keep their team in Sactown, civic leadership is starting to try and prepare the fanbase for the death of the team as they know it. Johnson followed up the comments by talking about the future and the possibility of a new team. But that's too bitter a pill for the fans to consider swallowing. So instead they debate boycots and try and deal with the realities of the situation.
Meanwhile, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait spoke at a city council meeting Tuesday night and was downright giddy about the prospect of acquiring the Kings and the progress in that area.
"The good news is that we are continuing to move closer to bringing a professional basketball team to Anaheim," Tait said. "Because there are ongoing discussions and negotiations, I have just a few details to share tonight. More information will be forthcoming in the next week or so."via Anaheim mayor says city 'closer' to getting Kings | council, kin - News - The Orange County Register.
Perhaps the only good news for Sacramento fans is that the Anahaeim city council voted to delay discussion of bond funding for arena improvements necessary for an NBA team to relocate to the Honda Center. And there are citizens who are very upset at the prospect of throwing money at renovations for an NBA team with a budget crisis. Sacramento fans' best hope to keep the team is for the process of aligning relocation prospects to drag on past the April 18th deadline for the Maloofs to file for relocation, keeping the team in the city for another year, and providing civic leadership yet another opportunity to resolve a new arena plan.
But at this point, that's not seeming likely. The wheels are moving, even if the gears are grinding in places. Sacramento fans have nothing they can do but sit and watch as the team is torn out from underneath them.
If it feels like watching a death, that's because it is.
From the comments section at Sactown Royalty:
I will be a casual NBA fan from now on. I could never care about another team the way I've cared about this one.via A Quick Word On Efforts To Boycott A Game - Sactown Royalty.
Welcome to David Stern's NBA paradise, where the NBA cares about its fans, as long as you live in a suitably large market.