The Sacramento Kings appear to be at the top of the list for Seattle to replace their lost Sonics. Should Sacramento Kings’ fans be worried? That is the question hovering over the city right now.
For Kings’ fans the summer has been relatively uneventful. Perhaps that is why when the Seattle City Council announced a tentative arena deal with investor Chris Hansen to fiance a new downtown sports arena for an NBA basketball team, it sent shock waves around Sacramento.
Earlier this year Sacramento Kings fans were rejoicing in what was believed to be a deal between the Maloofs, owners of the Sacramento Kings and the City of Sacramento. Perhaps that is why it feels as though Seattle poses a real threat to our hold of the Kings.
It is still a long haul for Seattle, and if Chris Hansen hopes to wrap his fingers around our team, he will have to deal with the multi-headed Maloof family, something Sacramento wasn’t able to do successfully.
Seattle is no Virginia Beach.
Virgina Beach, as you recall, is/was being courted by Comcast-Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based company, to partner with the city to build an arena to relocate the team there. It was a momentary threat on the horizon, but dissolved into a series of jokes considering that the city had less to offer than Sacramento. No disrespect to the folks in Virginia Beach. Although, little did Kings fans know that Virginia Beach was to be the harbinger to Seattle.
The thing is — it is easy to understand where Seattle is coming from. Their Seattle Sonics team was ripped from the heart of their fans, going on to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, and now, just off the heels of winning the 2011-2012 NBA Western Conference Finals. Ouch — pour salt into wound.
How could anyone blame their bitterness and desire to get any available NBA team, even if that means setting sights upon our — Sacramento Kings? NBA Commissioner, David Stern had the back of Sacramento, but what more could he do when the Maloofs backed out of the deal, flanked by their attorney?
Could or would the NBA Board of Govenors (BOG) turn down a request to take the team to Seattle, given the current situation? How will members divide their sympathies and personal interests as franchise owners themselves? While the vote of public opinion aligns with keeping the team in Sacramento, with a tentative approval for an arena in Seattle, the momentum could easily shift to the long suffering fans there.
As a basketball fan, we know too well, how the momentum of a game can shift in an instant.
While the announcement of a future Seattle downtown arena still has a long way to go, many hurdles to jump, there is a sense of doom hovering, a tightness in the gut, and palpable free-floating anxiety in Sacramento.