It’s difficult to tell how legit the report from Marc Stein this weekend was. That’s not to say he was incorrect in his news of the Kings looking into relocation – it’s just that a very similar story was broken about a month prior by KFBK and Stein/ESPN have a notorious reputation for re-hashing earlier local news.
Are the Kings looking into relocation? Of course they are. It’s not financially possible to compete playing in the barn of an arena they currently do. Does that mean they want to relocate? Of course not – but they’d be stupid not to look into it. It is a business, after all.
But back to the point – how do you interpret this most “recent” finding by Stein?
For those who’ve looked over the deal (with specifics pointed out by Sam Amick), it’s clearly a questionable move for the Maloof’s. Fall behind on payments and seize control of the team? Yes – I’m sure they’re lining up for that. Play in an arena that’s over twenty years old? Lose control of the revenue they’d make owning their own arena? It’s far from a can’t miss opportunity.
Personally, I think it’s a poker move – and a great one at that. We’ve heard of the relocation “threat” for years but it’s never been anything more than a glorified rumor. Until the potential really does become a near reality, very few would ever take the threat seriously and judging by local reaction, fans and hopefully community members along with opposed citizens will realize losing the Kings is a very real possibility and action needs to take place, quickly.
My view? I don’t expect the Kings to file for relocation by the March deadline. There isn’t really much point for them to do so. However, if there isn’t any serious movement from now until next March (assuming all is normal and the NBA isn’t in strike-mode), then I’d have to assume they’d seriously consider moving on.
How say you?