Monday, April 29

Seattle: A Bridesmaid Once More

Today is a difficult day for Sonic fans. Not as difficult as that dark day a half-decade ago, when the team announced it was leaving for Oklahoma, mind you, but certainly not an easy one, either.

There is an ironic twist to this bizarre story, though, and here it is: The Kings are staying in Sacramento for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that the fan base in Sacramento was energized by what happened in Seattle.

They were energized by the threat of relocation, they were energized by the Sonicsgate tale, and they were energized by the emergence of Chris Hansen’s ownership coalition.

Certainly, Sacramento’s elected officials, devoted fans, and possible new owners deserve the lion’s share of credit for what happened today (or, anyways, what should happen; who knows when you’ve got lawyers circling the carcass).

But in many ways, a major reason why the Sacramento Kings are not the Seattle Sonics today is because of the efforts of the people of Seattle. It is entirely possible that were it not for the people behind Save Our Sonics and so on, Here We Stay might never have shown up.  

Remember, Sacramento does not have a new arena, it doesn’t have a new ownership group, it doesn’t have anything. It certainly has the promise of those things, but that promise has not, historically, been worth much to the people counting chits in the NBA office. Today, though, those promises were worth enough to the league to forestall a relocation to Seattle.

And so, Sacramento, relish your conquering of the Axis of Evil.  For once, the league’s extortion tactics did not require an actual pound of flesh: just the promise of one.


Shooter said...

One thing to keep in mind though, this vote doesn’t mean the Kings are staying put. This vote won’t force the Maloofs to sell to the local investor group. It will just tell them they can’t sell to the Seattle group. This is already being lost in the headlines. We don’t know where the Kings will end up. We just know it won’t be Seattle.

PN said...

I'd say the odds the team stays are pretty high. The next vote will be in a week or so, if I recall, at which time you should expect to hear about the sale to the Sacramento group.

Anonymous said...

I am happy for Sacramento.
No team deserves the things happened to Seattle again.

Shooter said...

Not saying it won't happen, but, remember, these are the Maloofs we're talking about here.

PN said...

Can't argue with that. The thought that they'll screw this up is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Anonymous said...

The nba is joke of an organization and now Sacramento stole 30 million Washington. Sacramento can burn

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"For once, the league’s extortion tactics did not require an actual pound of flesh: just the promise of one."

And that's the thing that irks me the most (besides the recommendation). KJ didn't actually deliver a damn thing. Like the fella whose girl is about to leave him, KJ just told the NBA he was willing to do anything to keep the team there - ANYTHING! You want a new arena? I'll mortgage the city of Sacramento for you. You need to find new rich people to buy the team? Let me call in every favor I have. And for the umpteenth time, the girl, er NBA, bought it. Whose to say the Kings won't be in this same boat again soon?

So many things have to fall in place for Sacramento before the spade actually hits dirt for a new arena. The Sacto City Council might not like the deal once they get the specifics and vote against a new arena. The city might get sued by jilted taxpayers who rejected using public dollars for a Kings arena. And even if it gets built, the parking revenues might not be enough and their back-up plan is to raid the city's general fund.

The NBA is a farce and is playing the good folks of Sacramento for fools. But hey, they'll get a new arena out of it - even it means literally bankrupting Sacramento.

Anonymous said...

There are many points of contention that have a lot of us scratching our heads. or me, I just don't see this rabid fanbase in Sacramento. 12,000 fans a game, lowest attendance in the league in what was a year the Kings needed their fanbase to step up? I'm shaking my head.
I hope this is a big plot by Stern to get small market money guaranteed before he grants Seattle an expansion team. Don't put it past him. Guaranteed money from the Sacramento group and the Seattle group is a nice billion.

Thanks for being a place where I can come to read comments and not witness a flame war.
- Eric