For anybody who watched the David Stern led NBA press conference this afternoon, there were two very clear things – one, his disappointment in the Maloofs and two, his disappointment in the Maloofs.
Stern was proud of the community along with the fans and rightfully so. He asked both parties to step up to keep the Kings in Sacramento and step up they did. For we as fans, for the city as a community, there is nothing to hang your head over – you continued to keep the Kings in Sacramento and maintaining your fight will keep them here in the future.
David Stern’s body language said it all. The nearly obsessive way he picked his words, making every syllable count – every pause of frustration – you could hear the irritation in his voice, in his actions. Not at you, the fan. Not at Sacramento, the city and region. No, his irritation was clearly pointed at the Maloof family.
Legally, his hands are tied and he knows it. After all, he is an employee of the owners throughout the league. Despite the obvious idea that he’d push them off a ledge if he could get them out of the NBA, he has a legal responsibility to act on behalf of all the NBA ownerships and must publicly support the Maloofs – but you know it. I know it. They know it. He couldn’t support them any less than he currently does. He’s the embarrassed parent trying not to make a scene in-front of a crowd. Every pause he took, the irritation grew. You could see he wanted to say what we all feel, but he couldn’t. For once, David Stern is the good guy – and I’m not sure he’s enjoying it all that much.
But one thing must not be lost in this soap opera. Despite your feelings towards the Maloofs, don’t let that alter your perception of this franchise. It was here before the Maloofs and it will be here after the Maloofs are gone.
You as fans – you as a community have provided the NBA relocation committee every piece of ammunition they need to stand up and tell the Maloofs no if they were to file for relocation. You’ve given them every piece of ammunition they need to show that the community can be profitable – that it has the franchise’s (and NBA’s) back. You must not let your foot off the gas because you as fans, you as a community, are the driving force to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Never forget that.
The Maloofs made their bed – they must now sleep in it. And while supporting the franchise is supporting the Maloofs currently, it’s a dirty deed that must be done for the future of this franchise to remain in Sacramento.
You were a King fan long before the Maloofs. The Kings were a franchise before the Maloofs. Owners come and go – King fans, do not.
Stay strong, King fans – the fights not over, but there are some wobbling knees in the opposing corner. Keep supporting YOUR team and that knockout punch will happen eventually.