Posted on: March 24, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: March 24, 2011 10:38 am

New plan to keep Kings in Sacramento emerges?

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

The Anaheim situation

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.

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.
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

Kings receive extension to consider Anaheim

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 plans arena regardless of Kings' plan

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.

Ashby said a new arena is a good idea even if it's star tenant has left town. "I hope they stay but if the Kings chose to leave, we will miss them and wish them well," she said. "We will welcome other opportunities to enrich this region."
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.
Posted on: February 20, 2011 3:14 am

Stern acknowledges Kings have discussed Anaheim

David Stern acknowledges talks between Anaheim and Kings
Posted by Matt Moore

In his comments to the press Saturday night before the All-Star activities, commisioner David Stern acknowledged that the Kings are in discussions with Anaheim officials to relocate the team. The comments from Stern confirmed an earlier report from KFBK in Sacramento that Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli had offered a $100 million loan for the Maloof in exchange for the Kings' relocation. At the time, the interest was thought to be primarily from Samueli.

But ESPN later reported Saturday night that the Maloofs are "seriously considering" applying for relocation on March 1st. That, in essence, would be the ballgame. 

The city of Sacramento has failed in about ten different ways to approve funding for a new arena to replace Arco Arena, which is considered more of a tomb than an arena at this point. It's a struggling economy in a small market, and mayor Kevin Johnson is at his wits' end trying to come up with a solution to keep the Kings in Sactown. If the Maloofs decide to file for relocation in eight days, it's over. No more initiatives, no more discussions. The NBA owners will approve, the Kings will take the money and run.

This is a huge moment for the league in terms of its future in market relations. Big name players are abandoning their teams for brighter lights and bigger payrolls.  Small market teams are bleeding money.  Revenue sharing is the key debate in the union-owners talks. And Sacramento, home to one fo the most passionate fanbases in the NBA, may lose its team. If something isn't done, soon, the league's not going to have any small markets left. 

Posted on: February 15, 2011 2:11 pm

Stern: Owners would consider Hornets contraction

Commissioner David Stern says that some owners would consider contracting the New Orleans Hornets, but feels that league will be succesful in keeping the team in New Orleans long-term. 
Posted by Matt Moore

In a lengthy interview with ESPN.com on Bill Simmons' podcast, David Stern today stated that there are owners in the NBA who "might share the view" that they should contract the Hornets. 

"I know that there are some owners who might share that view (that the Hornets should be contracted). But anything that we do gets done by the majority of the owners. All you're stating is a potential third option. But right now we are steaming full-speed ahead with every single possible way to make that team succesful in New Orleans, and I think we're going to succeed. We're going to make it unattractive to move it or contract it."

Stern, as usual, cloaks his statement in laywer-speak of the highest craft. The phrase "some owners who might share that view." Is that not the most slippery structure possible?  

The revelation is nothing too surprising.  Contraction talk has been floating for months. And with the owners now invested in a team that has not shown the capacity to keep itself afloat financially in its current market, there are going to be rumblings, particularly from the larger markets who won't want to support a losing asset in the face of the current economy.

But Stern makes the point that the owners have already made the decision to invest roughly $10 million each in the team. Contraction would mean losing the vast majority of that investment. You're not going to be able to liquidate tangible assets for an NBA team and recoup any significant amount of money. Why would they elect to just lose out on that money? At the same time, Stern also says the primary reason the league elected to step in and purchase the team wasn't a lack of buyers, but a lack of buyers that would keep the team in New Orleans. If the league is secretly planning to move the Hornets, they're going deep, deep underground with the plot.

The question of New Orleans as a viable market will continue until the ownership situation stabilizes. The question is: when's that going to be?
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:37 am

Shootaround 1.27.11: Zipcodes

Hornets' fans plight, Chandler does not wish NY flight, the Cavs have no fight, and a Sixers mascot sight. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

An interesting question, to be taken only in the abstract. Is it fair for the fans in New Orleans to have to check attendance figures every two years and put together the kind of effort needed to meet the mark to avoid the escape clause?  A writer at Yahoo! points out that it will simply take more time for the city to embrace the Hornets in the same way they have the Saints, who have been there for about 30 years longer. These things take time. Regardless of whether it's fair or not, that's the situation the Hornets will continue to face until a new ownership system is place that is committed to the area long-term and the economy starts to pick up. 

Attempting to appreciate Stan Van Gundy. The fact that SVG gets so much flak considering his pretty incredible record of success is stunning.

Well played on that photo, Orlando Sentinel.

Danny Granger at the deadline could be a huge playoff difference maker if someone can get him from a continually reeling Pacers club. 

Why are the Cavs this bad? Some interesting questions on team building and the cost of not drafting well, regardless of contender status. 

Folks in Seattle still say it is a basketball town

Via the 700 Level, here's an image of the Sixers mascot bowling... himself. 

Kahn is "absolutely sure" Rubio is joining the Wolves, eventually.  Kahn being right will vindicate him to an enormous degree and buy him considerable time in his gig. Being wrong would be catastrophic. At the end of it, I still wonder about committing so much to a guy who doesn't "actively" want to be there.  More on this later. 

Wilson Chandler may have switched agents to Happy Walters, who is an interesting man, and who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire, to avoid being traded

Rodney Stuckey "felt something pop" last night, which can't be good. 
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:55 pm

Anaheim making a strong push for the Kings?

Posted by Royce Young

It's no secret that the Sacramento Kings are looking at potentially relocating. The Maloof brothers even pulled out the deadly, "We'll look at our options" phrase. 

The early candidates that have been mentioned for Sacramento? San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas or a return to Kansas City. You know, the same list that always pops up. But the real candidate might be just down the road a bit. Anaheim.

According to KFBK/1530 in Sacramento via the Orange Country Register, the Maloofs met recently with Ducks owner Henry Samueli to talk about his proposal to bring the Kings to Anaheim. 

Reportedly, Samueli offered the Maloofs a $100 million loan as part of the proposal to help cover the extra costs that come with relocation and territorial rights fees and also offered to help the Kings owners manage their debt.

That has to be an intriguing offer to the Maloofs. They're having some financial issues, but they don't want to sell. They want to keep the Kings franchise breathing and in their hands, but also get them somewhere that they can make money. 

The Kings have been pushing for a new arena and it's looking more and more like that will fail, even with the support of mayor Kevin Johnson. Without a new arena, the Maloofs may have their hands forced if they want to keep the franchise.

In Anaheim, there's a new arena in the Honda Center and the Kings could just slide in and be co-tenants with the Ducks there. Anaheim has also been mentioned as a potential landing spot for the Hornets, especially with the word about Larry Ellison trying to buy the team. I would bet if Ellison got his hands on the Hornets he would look to move them West as fast as possible. And Anaheim would likely near the top of his list.

But it's not a done deal that the Kings will move anyway. I'm sure the Maloofs would prefer to keep the team in Sacramento and just start making money there. And while they've got a new deal with Power Balance for naming rights, they need real money. That comes with new sponsorships, better attendance and a new arena. Unless they get that last one, they may have to, well, look at their options.

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