Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 5:39 pm

Sacramento businesses pledge millions to Kings

Sacramento-area business reportedly pledged millions of dollars to keep the Kings from relocating. Posted by Ben Golliver. maloofs

There's no question that money talks in the NBA, especially when it comes to matters of relocation. A money-generating arena, sponsorship dollars, television deals and season ticket holder bases: these are the factors by which owners and the league evaluate markets.

Sacramento, a market that was thought to lose its team to Anaheim next season, reportedly received some great news on the money front on Tuesday, when Mayor Kevin Johnson met with NBA officials and local businesses to help demonstrate the community's financial support for keeping the Kings in Northern California.

The Sacramento Bee reports that, following the meeting, Johnson announced that millions of dollars in sponsorship money had been pledged with the goal of keeping the Kings in Sacramento through next season. 
The $10 million in business pledges aimed to show the NBA that Sacramento could financially support the team, and to convince the league to keep the Kings here rather than allowing them to move to Anaheim.
This morning, Johnson said, Sacramento businesses "made a down payment on the Sacramento Kings and this being their permanent home." Companies committing to support the team included Sleep Train, Golden One Credit Union, Zoom Imaging Solutions and Arden Fair Mall.
"We are for real and we are here to support the NBA and the Kings --not just for this year, but for many years to come," said Matt Mahood, president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, had taken steps to relocate the team to Anaheim and re-name it the Anaheim Royals. Now, suddenly, they are virtually invisible, with the NBA and local politicians essentially conducting their business for them.

These developments have led SacTownRoyalty.com to ask some big questions, such as: "Who is running the Sacramento Kings?"
Note the continued absence of the Maloof family in all of this. These sponsorships were pledged to the Sacramento Kings, owned and operated by the Maloofs, a member of the NBA. These businesses pledged this money because KJ told them that otherwise, the Kings would be gone. The NBA has the power to tell the Maloofs they must keep the Kings here in Sacramento, and to wield that power wants to ensure that KJ isn't selling wolf tickets. Again: it's a reasonable quest.
But collecting local sponsor money is usually a task left for the team. In fact, I cannot think of any instance in which the NBA would collect local sponsor money for a team that doesn't deal with an NBA takeover of a team (hello, New Orleans) and a situation where the local owners have become so poisonous that the NBA would rather take the time and bear the expense to basically do the owners' job for them.
The NBA should be commended for standing up for Kings fans and the Sacramento market, regardless of whether their actions are motivated in part by a skepticism towards the Maloofs, a desire to prevent an over-saturation of the Los Angeles market or other outside reasons. 

In such an unstable situation -- in the Sacramento market, its ownership group and in the league as a whole -- the less change, the better. That makes the hard money put up by Johnson and the Sacramento businesses that much more important and influential.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 6:39 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 9:12 pm

Report: Kings 'expected' to stay in Sacramento?

The NBA reportedly expects the Sacramento Kings to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 NBA season rather than relocate to Anaheim. Postedmaloofsby Ben Golliver with reporting from Ken Berger.

After months of discussion about the likely relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim, the tables have apparently turned. 

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the Kings are now "expected" to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 NBA season, citing NBA officials.
NBA officials now expect the Kings to play next season in Sacramento, league executives told The Times on Friday.
Whether the team, which was about to seek permission to move to Honda Center in Anaheim, stays in Sacramento beyond next season remains to be decided.
Fan efforts in Sacramento to keep the Kings have been ongoing for months. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA point guard, has also been instrumental in presenting the city's case for keeping the team, appealing to the NBA's Boad of Governors to reconsider the merits of the Kings' relocation proposal. 

NBA commissioner David Stern says that Johnson's presentation provided significant new information, and the Times writes that it was essentially a game-changer.
"Mayor Johnson made certain representations about community support that he had secured," Stern said.
The NBA officials agree that if the Kings live up to all of their pledges, the team is expected to stay in Sacramento long-term.
When Johnson presented his lavish package with the Is dotted, the Ts crossed, the timetable specific and the funding package appearing to be credible, everything changed.
The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has until May 2 to present its case for relocation, a date that exists after two extensions were already granted by the league. They could still pursue the relocation option, but it's possible the NBA's Relocation Committee wouldn't approve their proposal. 

Three sources told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger Friday night that NBA officials, led by Thunder owner Clay Bennett, have not informed the Kings or the city of Sacramento of any final decision on assertions made by Mayor Kevin Johnson to the Board of Governors about the city's renewed push to keep the Kings. Berger notes in an email:
One of the sources said a key component missing from plan, which includes additional sponsorships and a push for a new arena, is financing.
"Where is the financing?" one source said. "Where is the money?"
League officials are expected to convene with city officials Monday to complete the fact-finding mission. One of the sources told CBSSports.com said all signs point to a positive referendum on Sacramento's efforts to keep the team, but added, "It's not there yet."
The Maloofs, clearly frustrated with the 11th-hour effort after 13 years of unsuccessful attempts to get similar commitments from the city, have not yet made a decision on whether to apply for relocation to Anaheim by the extended May 2 deadline.
"We're anxious to look at what Kevin Johnson has been able to accomplish since he made a lot of assertions about the Sacramento market," co-owner Joe Maloof told CBSSports.com. "After the NBA does its due diligence, we'll evaluate it and go forward. But we have not made any decision one way or another."
The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that Joe Maloof denied the L.A. Times report, saying that nothing has been decided yet. "That is not what we are saying," Maloof told the paper. "We haven't said what we are going to say. We'll let you know when we know."

The Associated Press quoted Gavin's brother Joe with the same "no decision yet" message on Friday.
Maloof told The Associated Press on Friday that no decision has been made and he's "as anxious as anybody" to find out if Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson can deliver on his promise for more sponsorship support and finally finance a plan for a new arena.
"I don't know that Kevin Johnson's meeting in New York swayed the NBA one way or another, but I think that the NBA next week is going to go into Sacramento to verify a lot of the promises Kevin Johnson made to the board," Maloof said. "There were various sponsorship promises and a promise to show the board, once and for all, how a new arena not only will be planned, but financed."
SI.com also reported the decision has not yet been made but noted that things are looking "very good" for Sacramento.
After speaking to several highly-involved sources, I would say that it's still looking very good for Sacto but no decision yet. Maloofs are still considering Anaheim, according to sources. NBA's further investigation into mayor Kevin Johnson's claims next week.It's telling, however, that there is no current plan to analyze Anaheim situation further on part of the NBA.
Will they be the Sacramento Kings or the Anaheim Royals next season? That remains to be seen. But all the logistics involved in executing a relocation means the clock is ticking for Anaheim. Any delay or hiccup from here on out favors Sacramento.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 3:04 pm

Kings' relocation train grinding to a halt?

League has serious reservations about Maloofs' relocation plan to Anaheim as relocation committee visits Sacramento to test Mayor Kevin Johnson's claims regarding market viability. Do the Kings stay?
Posted by Matt Moore

You'll have to forgive us for having jumped too early. It's just, it wasn't supposed to go like this. As in, it never goes like this. An NBA owner manages to avoid their small market poneying up for a new arena, and the door's supposed to magically swing open to relocation. After all, how can the owners vote against one of their brethren, knowing that if they are a large-market owner, continued strength in those areas is best for them, and if they are a small-market owner they would be setting a precedent to vote against their own bid later? Despite the bickering between franchises that goes on daily in the NBA, the owners stick together, right? 

Yeah, not so much, looks like. 

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the Sacramento beat down as well as anyone and he reports this week that momentum on that midnight train to Disney Land has hit some major breaks, thanks to questions from the NBA Board of Governors that have left the Maloofs facing a pretty depressing future: a possible, maybe probable return to Sacramento. 
The next two days are pivotal. Johnson will host relocation committee chairman and Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett and league counsel Harvey Benjamin in Sacramento and attempt to prove the case the mayor made so strongly at the NBAs Board of Governors meetings last week: that his city remains a viable market. On the other bench, sources say the Anaheim presentation given at the meetings was as ineffective as Johnsons was impactful, and there is serious doubt as to whether there will be enough support to warrant the Maloofs filing for relocation a majority vote is needed to approve a move when a team files.
via Strong indications Kings may be in Sacramento next year - Sam Amick - SI.com.

The big issue here? TV money, the golden calf of NBA financing. As opposed to NFL television rights, which are collective and shared throughout the league, each NBA team gets to negotiate its own TV deals. Which is why some teams, like the Lakers, are due for $5 billion over 25 years, and some teams make less than they're paying their third best player, like the Bobcats. The Kings' relocation to the lucrative SoCal market was supposed to suckle at that market that ensures the Lakers profit ridiculous amounts by winning and the Clippers make great money even by being the freaking Clippers. Instead, Amick reports a $20 million deal is all they have acquired in the Anaheim relocation package, through a minor network through a relationship with Samueli, the mastermind behind the bid to send the Kings to his Anaheim arena. $20 million is the league average, so the ownership was pretty much "eh" when faced with that number. 

Are these just concerns? Is there any real momentum to the move? This paragraph from Amick should read as a punch in the face of the Maloofs. 
There were internal signs that the league is taking Sacramento seriously this week. Two sources said an NBA representative called on Monday to advise the Kings' business team to prepare the season-ticket packages and corporate sponsorship plans that had been on hold since rumors of the move were legitimized in February. Team employees had been in a holding pattern for months, but they were told to be ready to deliver the goods to their customers in the coming weeks should a happy ending be on the horizon. There was similar movement in other areas of the organization, with the notion of a Kings return suddenly seeming somewhere between possible and probable.
So the league has advised the organization to start selling tickets in advance of a move against the wishes of ownership. Pardon us while we "LOL" for a little bit. 

The Maloofs thought this was going to be easy. They may get their way, get their Los Angeles Royals of Anaheim. But the city's not going down without a fight, and in this last round, it's Mayor Kevin Johnson who's landed all the punches. 
Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 11:53 am

Oliver Miller arrested after alleged gun assault

Former NBA player Oliver Miller was arrested after an incident at a barbecue. Posted by Ben Golliver. oliver-miller

My great-grandfather Elmer taught me two lessons. One: Never interrupt an argument between a husband and a wife. Two: never, ever stand between a man and his plate of ribs. 

It sounds like someone violated Elmer's second commandment on Tuesday, as former NBA player Oliver Miller, best known for his outlandish weight, was arrested after he allegedly pistol-whipped a man at a barbecue according to a report from WUSA9.com
A former NBA player was arrested Tuesday morning for pistol whipping a man at a barbecue, police said.
Oliver Miller, 41, of Edgewater, was arrested after police were called out to a barbecue in Arnold, Md., for a report of an assault with a handgun, police said.
Miller wasn't at the Birchrest Court home Sunday, when police arrived to the call. Police say they tracked him down based on eye witness accounts and a 9MM GLOCK magazine that was left behind at the scene.
Can you imagine being the lab technician whose job it was to pull honey barbecue sauce stained fingerprints off of a Glock, only to realize that they belonged to a notorious former NBA player who recently topped out at 415 pounds? Is that the best day of your life or the saddest day of your life? 

Miller is reportedly being charged with first and second degree assault and a slew of gun charges. 

Miller played nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 7.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The journeyman center played for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:16 pm

Board of Governors extends Sacramento deadline

Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported today and NBA commissioner David Stern later confirmed that the NBA Board of Governor's has extended the deadline for the Maloof brothers to apply for relocation of the Kings to Anaheim. In a Friday afternoon conference call, Stern said the deadline had been extended to May 2 http://twitter.com/daldridgetnt/sta

The Board heard presentations from both the Maloofs regarding relocation and a group from Sacramento featuring Mayor Kevin Johnson regarding the Kings staying in Sacramento. The Sacramento contingent brought information about inducements that were available for the team to stay, and Stern said that there was enough to support further investigation from the NBA BOG's relocation committee. 

Get this: the head of the relocation committee? Clay Bennett. You know, Thunder owner/Sonics mover Clay Bennett. Whoops. That's not going to go over well in the press. 

Stern stressed that the extension was based off a  need to undestand the complexity of both proposals, but specifically the presentation from the Mayor's office. Stern did say that Ron Burkle's public comments regarding a desire to purchase the Kings from the Maloofs, or another team to relocate to Sacramento was "not a high priority" for the board

Stern also commented that he believes the Southern California/LA/Anaheim market can sustain three teams. 
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 5:45 pm

Mayor Johnson: Billionaire wants to buy Kings

Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento, says that a billionaire has emerged to purchase the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Have fans of the Sacramento Kings been thrown a lifeline? One day after the team closed its regular season at home in front of a teary crowd, Kevin Johnson, the Mayor of Sacramento, has raised a possible alternative to the franchise relocating to Anaheim.

Johnson wrote on Twitter that billionaire Ron Burkle, who is a co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, is "very interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento." Johnson is currently in New York City to make a presentation to the NBA's Board of Governors as are the Maloof brothers, the team's current ownership group.

A firm representing Burkle issued a press release on Thursday, via SacTown Royalty, stating his intentions.
"The Maloofs have been strong owners and a positive part of the Sacramento community for years, but it is important that Kings fans and residents of the Sacramento region know that the Burkle Group is ready to commit the resources and expertise necessary to keep the NBA in Sacramento. Our group believes Sacramento is an important NBA market that can thrive with new ideas, new resources and an absolute commitment to delivering the best on and off-court experiences for fans.
"This group, led by Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, is prepared to assist the Mayor by bringing significant resources and the best possible expertise in professional sports, facilities development and financing to bear in the effort to keep Sacramento as an NBA city."
Will Burkle be able to swoop in like Superman to save the day? That's unclear. One key issue: How viable are the Maloof brothers? In recent years, they've sold off their other businesses, taken a huge hit in their Las Vegas casinos, laid off Kings employees, taken out a big loan from the NBA and a huge part of their plan to relocate to Anaheim was centered around up-front money they would receive in the deal as well as long-term television revenue. 

The Maloofs need the NBA's Boad of Governors to approve their relocation plan to Anaheim. That group is also capable of levying a major relocation fee. There has been some pushback around the league about the Kings relocating to Anaheim because it would place three NBA franchises in Southern California. 

SI.com reports that Burkle's interest isn't short-lived but that the Maloofs are reluctant to part with the Kings.
Burkle been working on this for weeks. When KJ told Stern he had a possible buyer, the commish made crack about it being a local car dealer. If, however, the good ol' boys club decides that they're not viable, then there could be pressure to sell. That's where Burkle comes in. All that being said, they really have been adamant that they would not sell the team.
Right now, this feels like a Hail Mary, which is exactly what CBSSports.com's Ken Berger called it on Twitter
Sac Mayor Kevin Johnson unleashed Hail Mary today in his bid to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Ron Burkle wants to buy team, keep it in Sac. "We felt good about it," said Darius Anderson, who is with Burkle's proposed ownership group. "We're just trying to present alternatives." But the Burkle plan was met with skepticism in the owners's executive committee meeting. "Too little, too late," one team rep said.
Bloomberg.com reported on Thursday that Gavin Maloof was asked about the possibility of a Burkle bid and said simply: "We are not selling."

The NBA and its individual owners do have a vested interest in both keeping franchises in their current cities and finding self-sustaining ownership groups. Johnson knows that, and his pitch will likely be greeted with open arms by everyone except the Maloofs, who now face all sorts of new questions and complications. Johnson's plan clearly succeeded in one major way: it turned what the Maloofs had hoped would be a discreet process into a battle involving the court of public opinion.
Posted on: April 14, 2011 2:53 am

Kings announcers tear up during farewell

Posted by Matt Moore

It's over. 

In a game that fairly well mimics the realities of the NBA economic model in 2011, the Sacramento Kings made a last charge behind a raucous crowd at Arco Arena. They thought they had it, they thought they were safe. 

Then the large market team swept it all away in a game they never really should have needed in the first place. 

The Kings played what is likely their last game in Arco Arena, losing to the Lakers in overtime. The Lakers will likely go on to win the NBA title, because that's what they do. And the small-market Kings will likely head to Anaheim, and try to suckle at the teat of the L.A. market while Kings fans deal with the pain of losing something that's been a part of their families and communities for over two decades, because that's what they do. 

As fans of the team stayed behind in a movement called "Here We Sit" in a sit-in, Kings announcers Jerry Reynolds and Grant Napear signed off on what was likely the last telecast from Arco Arena. Get out your hankeys. It's getting dusty in here. 

The NBA Board of Governors is set to vote on the expected Kings' request for relocation on Friday.

Joe and Gavin Maloof were not in attendance Wednesday night. It was rumored they gave their seats to Lakers fans. I wish I was kidding.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 6:26 pm

Here They Stay.

As the Kings get set to play what is likely the last pro basketball game in Sacramento, California, the NBA Board of Governor's needs to think long and hard about what it wants its legacy to be. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Somewhere in the old and tired seats of Arco Arena, a kid's going to watch his last NBA game as a Kings fan.

Yes, we're going there. I'm not pulling out the emotional tale to rattle your bones or just to make my point. I'm pulling the kiddo card because in these instances, we look at these events through the eyes of "business" despite most of us not being multi-billion dollar titans of industry. We like to analyze these things from afar under the guise of perspective, but in reality, it's to avoid sentimentality. Which to be honest, in this context, is a little absurd. Sports is sentimentality. It's entirely sentimental. It's about feeling, it's about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and the anxiousness of playoff hopes and sometimes, just sometimes, the sheer joy of a championship. Okay, that's mostly just Lakers and Celtics fans, but you get my point. 

It is not about what the Kings faithful will experience tonight. That kid's going to have to watch as his team walks out on him, as it's ripped away from him because the market politics of the NBA have created this culture. You want a pragmatic reason to avoid this? That kid will grow up having turned his back on the NBA for turning its back on him. That's a fanbase, lost to the league, who won't know what makes the game great, because they'll be too spurned to enjoy it. You can't watch your team in someone else's backyard. Not like this. After the league has issued statements and weathered the PR storm and we in the media have found something else to freak out about, those fans will still be there, trying to understand what happened to their team.
For original season ticket holders such as Lindow, emotional – and financial – ties to the team run deep. So, apparently, does the hurt.

Before he died, Frank Prentice, a steel products salesman, told his family to never give up their Kings tickets. Anne Prentice, a vascular surgeon, remembers her father taking her and brother Gary, now a high school teacher, to Kings games "back when we thought it was the greatest thing in the world."

She plans to take her mother, Lu Prentice, to the last game. And she muses about whether she'll wear "a black armband."

She is furious about owners Joe and Gavin Maloof contemplating moving the team to the Los Angeles media market, home of the Lakers, adding "insult to injury." In a recent letter to The Bee, she castigated the Maloofs "for ripping the hearts out of countless Sacramento fans."

"My dad said, 'Don't let the tickets ever leave the family,' " Prentice reflected in an interview. "I don't think he ever dreamed that they (the Kings) would leave us."
via Longtime Kings season ticket holders reflect, prepare for likely last game - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee .

Here they stay. 

Consider everything that Kings fans have tried to do. They've petitioned, they've called, they've written. They're organizing a sit-in , they have campaigns and slogans and pleas and cries and outrage and desperation and nothing is going to stop what's happening because this is what the NBA has decided is in its best interest. Five to six markets with all the power. Everywhere else is just a system of rotating Washington Generals. Sure, the NBA backed moving the Sonics to OKC. But that was about arenas, about the league's ability to pressure cities into ponying up the dough. It set the precedent. "Don't want to pay for a new arena? We'll go somewhere else." But be sure, the league's priority is for its biggest markets to succeed. It won't interfere. It just won't protect the others. Meanwhile, we know even large markets can have their hearts ripped out. Kevin Durant knows, he was there. 
"But it was cool man to see that," he added, speaking of Sonics fans' passionate in-game plea to keep the team.

Durant's rookie year, his single season in Seattle, was merely a stepping stone to his present-day success.  Unfortunately for disenfranchised Sonics fans, they've had to painfully watch the now-Thunder forward tap into his potential in Oklahoma City.

"It was kind of tough on the players to go through the whole move and everything," Durant said of packing his bags after only one year in Seattle.  "But everything happens for a reason I think."

Though it's been three seasons since his last game in the Emerald City, the reigning scoring champ still misses his first NBA home.  Especially considering how dedicated he felt Seattle fans were while there.

"It was tough," said Durant of leaving the Sonics fanbase. "But we didn't know for a fact that we were leaving.  It was up in the air with us."
via Thunder Players Contrast Seattle Departure to Sacramento's Pending Fate - SB Nation Bay Area

Those Sonics fans are still around, still trying to get basketball back in their city. But how are they ever going to trust a league that turned its back so hard on them again? How are they supposed to deal with stealing someone else's team, causing someone else the same pain they went through? They will, because they don't have any choice. If there's one thing that's become apparent through the transitions of Seattle to Oklahoma City and Sacramento to Anaheim, it's this. The Fans don't have any say in the matter. They're just there. 

Here they stay. 

The real issue here is that sports do mean more than just dollars and cents. It's more than just a billionaire's play thing. It builds families, friendships, brings communities closer together, helps foster good works, drives the economy, helps the city be a better place to live. So why do we treat it with such a removed sense of inevitability? Because it's happened before? What, we've never affected change? We've never as a society decided that something wasn't in our best interest and moved to correct it? 

The NBA Board of Governors have to make the best decision for their respective businesses. But the NBA as a whole has to do what's best for its business, and that business is what is best for basketball. Abandoning a city that has shown to have incredible fan support just to move into an already overly-saturated market and attempt to siphon off the scraps of the Lakers and, heaven help us, the Clippers, is not in the best interet of basketball.

Protecting small markets, big markets, all markets that care about basketball should be in the best interest of the league. Keeping one of the best environments in the league in place should be in the best interest of the league. Working with willing cities to keep their teams in place should be in the best interests of the league. Failing fanbase after fanbase just to make sure the league gets its Lakers-Celtics payoff every few years is not in the best interest of the league. 

There are basketball fans in all parts of this country, and they are not irrelevant because of their cost of living of population. If they are, the league is failing in its duty to do what's best for basketball. Even as the team heads towards Mickey Land, the fans haven't abandoned it. Instead, they've grown closer.

Kings Anaheim relocation
The last month and a half has been one excruciating slow descent into madness, punctuated by the fact that when the season ends we won't know whether or not to say "Goodbye" or "See you next year". The question we've all been asked a million times is "What are you going to do if they leave?" I honestly don't know. Sure, I'll get on Twitter all full of piss and vinegar with claims of boycotting the NBA and the city of Sacramento, but the reality is I have no fucking clue what I'm going to do. I'm too emotionally invested in this team to give up at this point.

I've watched Cisco grow into becoming the backbone of the team. I've seen DeMarcus bitch slap the naysayers with his flashes of brilliance that point towards him fulfilling the manbeast potential we all know he has in him. I saw Geoff Petrie pluck Marcus Thornton from obscurity on the Hornets bench and gleefully ran all over the living room when he transformed into the clutch shooter we've been begging for for years. I've watched Tyreke...oh my God have I watched Tyreke just be Tyreke. The glory days Kings will always have a special place in my heart, but they were a collection of established players that came together at the right time to take the city by storm. This team? This is our team that we've carefully watched over the recent lean years, patiently waiting for them to realize their potential and return to prominence.

That's the most frustrating part about this ordeal. We're on the cusp of something great. Fair-weather fans may have abandoned this team (justifiably or not), but those with the passion/insanity to stick around know what this team is capable of even though our W/L record deceives that notion. That's not to say it would be easier to let them go if the team sucked, but the fact that they might move just as they're finally putting it all together is a swift kick in the nuts on par with even the most devastating moments in franchise history. Yet, in the face of all of this, my passion hasn't waned. Hell, it's somehow grown.
via An increasingly rambly, possibly historically inaccurate post about the Kings and how they taught me about passion - Sactown Royalty .

These are the real, flesh and blood people the NBA is abandoning. These aren't just numbers and figures. If we want to say stats aren't all that matter in basketball, as so many owners do? Guess what? They shouldn't be all that matter when we talk about the future of the National Basketball Association. At some point in there should be a discussion about these fans, this community that's shown it can break decibel barriers and sellout game after game after game. Those fans don't just disappear when you move to Anaheim to pick up the craps. They're still there, only they're not supporting your product. 

Here they stay.

Chris Webber wants to help.

Kevin Johnson has tried to help. Players, coaches, legends in this game have been clear. The very team that drives the NBA gravy train doesn't want the team to move. So why is this going through? The NBA has bailed out the Hornets. They've said they want to commit to keeping these teams in place.  But they're again standing idly by while the Kings try and escape their debts while keeping their plaything. 

Ray Ratto breaks down the immaturity of the Maloofs  in all this, and lays out how awkward it will be if the vote fails. Imagine that, a team's owners, who siphoned money from the fans in every way possible actually has to deal with the spurned, as opposed to simply running away. Funny what happens when a fanbase doesn't just give up. When it doesn't just evaporate. Those people, that kid, is still there. 

Here they stay. 

The NBA Board of Governors has an opportunity not to simply look out for their own well being, but that of the game they've become shephards of. Long after their profit margins are gone, the decisions they make will impact the lives of thousands of people. But if they have a hard time dealing wth the enormity of the crowd, of the idea of a group of people versus any other, I'd ask they remember that kid. Is it a cheap ploy? Sure. But it's a very real human being who will have more going on in his life than just basketball. But it'll still be a big part of him, as it's been his whole life.

Sacramento deserves a chance. Local leadership is willing, financial groups are trying to make it happen, the fans are doing anything they can think of or have been asked to make an impact. The NBA needs to do its part. It just takes three little words. 

Here they stay. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com