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Making sense out of the whole Kings situation

All week people have been asking me about the Sacramento Kings relocation situation. Among the questions asked are “Do you think they are moving?”, “Do you think they’re moving to Anaheim?”, “Do the Maloofs care about the fans in Sacramento?”, “Does anyone really care if they leave?”. These are all valid questions that I can only hope to answer for you.

First off, I do think the Kings are moving no matter which one of their minority owners tells you to a respected local sports anchor, the Kings are just about gone. However, they will not be moving anywhere near Anaheim. Why you ask? Because there are already two basketball teams in the Los Angeles area who don’t want to see their fanbases diminish with a third team in the area. It’s unnecessary. If the Kings file relocation papers for Anaheim and gthe Honda Center, I have a feeling that has grown since the last column that it will be voted down. I apologize for flip-flopping,but sometimes minds are changed.

As far as the Maloofs caring about the fans in Sacramento, for a while there was a facade there that they did, and maybe it was genuine, but at this moment, these guys are focused on making money for their basketball team in whatever city they call home. I’ll say this,though, the biggest slap in the face they gave fans was appearing in a 2006 Carl’s Jr. commercial which featured them grubbing on Six Dollar Burgers with a $6,000 bottle of wine. This commercial was featured during a time that they were hoping to gain support for Measures Q & R, which if passed would’ve raised taxes in order to fund a new arena for the Kings. It failed with a 72% No vote. It goes to show you that if you can afford burgers with wine, you can buy yourself an arena.

Now,does anyone care if they leave? I think a majority of people do care. Once upon a time, this team brought people a lot of happiness,a lot of exictement and something to cheer for. This city sold games out night after night for several years,made some noise, and made memories with friends, family and other loved ones. Not to mention tomorrow night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers has sold out thanks to the efforts of a grassroots group called Here We Stay.

I know a lot of people who would love to see the magic of the early 2000s come back, but I also know a lot of people who have been absolutely turned off by the team in terms of the losing seasons that have followed the Q & R vote, the legal trouble many Kings players have been in, the Maloofs attitude towards the city, and even the talk surrounding the team’s inevitable departure.  I don’t blame them, they’re experiencing a rapid movement in the NBA where these so-called “Super teams” are popping up and in bigger markets than Sacramento. What appears to be happening is the death of the NBA small market team. Players will only want to play in eight to ten different cities and that’s it.

It’s seriously confusing when the NBA feels like it suffers when a small market team wins but in contrast, the NFL’s current champion plays in the smallest market in all of professional sports. If Green Bay,Wisconsin can have success, why can’t Sacramento?And what would be so bad about becoming a Warriors fan if they did leave? Don’t some of you Kings fans root for other teams in the Bay Area as well? I know you do,so what’s so bad about cheering on one more? Whatever the case, you might have 29 other teams to choose from to root for. Choose wisely!

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February 2011
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