Posted on: April 15, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:16 pm
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 2:53 am
Posted by Matt Moore
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
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.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.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.
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.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.
Posted on: March 28, 2011 8:10 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 8:21 pm
City manager for Sacramento sends a letter to his counterpart in Anaheim, discussing money that would be owed to Sacramento if the city of Anaheim does not "cease negotiating" with the Kings.
Posted by Matt Moore
Enter the lawyers.
The Sacramento Bee reports that officials for the city of Sacramento have sent a letter to officials in Anaheim ordering them to "cease negotiating with the Kings", and repeatedly brings up the $77 million the Kings owe the city of Sacramento:
Sacramento city officials have sent a letter to Anaheim telling that city to cease its negotiations with the Sacramento Kings, and asking the Anaheim City Council not to vote on issuing $75 million in bonds Tuesday or take any other actions to induce the Kings to move to Anaheim.
The letter, issued minutes ago by assistant city manager John Dangberg, says if Anaheim insists on continuing negotiations with the Kings, Sacramento "must contractually require" the Kings to pay off the estimated $77 million the team owes the city of Sacramento.via Kings Blog and Q&A: City of Sacramento directs Anaheim to stop negotiations with Kings.
The letter has three requests for Anaheim. One, to not authorize issuance of Bonds for the renovation of the Honda Center. Two, to cease negotiations with the Kings. And if they choose to continue such discussions, to make any move dependent on the Kings repaying the $77 million to Sacramento. That of course dwarfs the money the Kings would owe in relocation fees and the $50 million loan Samueli has discussed loaning the Maloofs.
This letter is of course the precursor to suit in the event that negotiations continue and the Kings do file for relocation. The city's latest proposal fell flat on its face, but this letter makes it apparent they have little intention of going down completely quietly. What, if any, merit this course of action will garner in court isn't known at this time, but it's definitely a scare tactic to try and get the crows away from the soon-to-be carcass of professional basketball in Sacramento.
Posted on: March 24, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: March 24, 2011 10:38 am
Report states a new arena plan to keep the Kings in Sacramento has surfaced, will be brought to Kings ownership.
Posted by Matt Moore
Fox 40 in Sacramento reports that it's no longer inevitable that the Kings move to Anaheim. A new plan has been formulated which could keep the team in Sacramento, if the Maloofs approve. Most importantly, the money is there.
FOX40 Sports Director Jim Crandell told FOX40.com, "I know the specifics, but I cannot share the details yet, because it could jeopardize a very sensitive discussion that is about to take place."
Crandell did confirm that the alternative plan does include a funding source, and that, "...the money is in place."via New Plan Could be Gamechanger for Sacramento Kings and Keep Them from Becoming the Anaheim Royals - KTXL.
It would be a huge step up for civic leadership to bring anything outside the box in order to keep the team in Sacramento. So far they've been ineffective, poorly organized, and seemingly accepting of the inevitable move to Anaheim. The fact that the money is there is a huge element in this. Not having to come up with funding is a game changer for both the city and ownership.
If the report is accurate, it's now up to the Maloofs. And in that instance, the league needs to also check in on the proposal. Why? To make sure the Maloofs act in good faith towards keeping the team in the city. The league can't afford to keep burning bridges across the country like they did in Seattle.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:50 am
As the mayor discusses the "slow death" of the Kings in Sacramento, Anaheim faces budget questions about renovations to the Honda Center to facilitate a relocation.
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.
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.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:04 am
Sacramento Kings ask for, receive extension to consider Anaheim relocation.
Posted by Matt Moore
The Kings have been considering relocation to Anaheim for months. They've been in discussions regarding a loan for over $100 million in the event of such a relocation to the Honda Center in Anaheim. David Stern recently acknowledged discussions between the two parties. With the deadline for relocation for next season, March 1st, rapidly approaching, the Kings are going to need a little more time.
Mark Kreidler of KHTK reports that the Kings have asked for, and been granted an extension past the deadline to consider the Anaheim relocation option. Kreidler also reports that the Maloofs have said they will not sell the team, nor will they accept the loan from Samueli. Perhaps most interestingly, Kreidler reports that the league also wants time to consider such a relocation. They are "not sold' on Orange County.
The NBA not interested in shoving a small-market team into the greater Los Angeles area? Be still my beating small-market heart. That said, this move does nothing to stop the relocation, it simply slows it and opens the door for the Maloofs or the league to shut down the movement. Ownership is also looking to see if city officials in Sacramento blink at the talk and get moving on the new arena that nearly everyone (except possibly, voters hit hard by the economy) agrees needs to happen, or at least must happen for the Kings to stay in Sacramento.
The best news here is that the ax on Sacramento, which has proven to be a great NBA city, has been stayed for at least another day.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:28 am
Sacramento leadership reaffirms commitment to building new arena regardless of whether the Kings relocate or not.
Posted by Matt Moore
Saturday night David Stern acknowledged that Kings' ownership had met with Anaheim officials regarding a possible relocation, as reports surfaced that the Maloofs were considering filing for relocation before the March 1st deadline. On Sunday, a Sacramento city council member responded in the best way possible, by simply saying the council was intent on finding funding to build a new arena regardless of whether the Kings move or not. From News 10 KXTV in Sacramento:
City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby Sunday said Sacramento will continue working on plans to build a new sports arena, even if the Sacramento Kings leave the city. She said a new arena "serves this community on multiple levels" beyond being a place to play basketball.via Sacramento city councilmember promises to continue push for arena | News10.net | Sacramento, California | Local News.
Pretty smart move. It maintains the city's backbone and leverage while giving the Maloofs something to consider. The onl problem is that Ms. Ashby isn't the problem. The public is the problem. The economy is the problem. The spiraling economy for NBA small-market teams, especially those who struggle with being competitive during a rebuilding project, that is the problem. And Anaheim is a sure thing. It has a building, ownership support, and the sacred L.A. regional market cow from which to suckle, as Donald Sterling has for years in good years and bad. Okay, more like good year, and bad, but you get what I mean.
The next eight days are going to be very interesting in Sacramento.