While the rumors of a potential Maloof relocation are rampant in speculation, be it to Virginia, Seattle or elsewhere, one common theme is continually overlooked in regard to those potential moves – approval. Make no mistake, despite their apparent desires to do so, the Maloofs simply can’t back up moving trucks to the arena loading docks and drive off in the cover of night. If the Maloofs are to move, it would take an approval from the league’s relocation committee who has already all but told the Maloofs no, claiming Sacramento can support a professional NBA franchise. And they can. Thanks to the efforts from Mayor Kevin Johnson, community businesses and the wonderful fan base, Sacramento proved they could muster up the support needed which was all the NBA’s relocation committee wanted to see. There was no logical reason that the Kings needed to move from Sacramento.
However, the most recent report from Carmichael Dave, touched on by our Marilyn Kenyon a few days ago which says major sponsors are pulling away from the Maloofs after only being assured one year deals is a damaging report to the city, fans and franchise.
In essence, the Maloofs, in previous attempts (which they failed on, mind you) had to convince the NBA’s relocation committee that they were financially unable to operate the Kings in Sacramento. They couldn’t do it – they had all the financial support they needed, which made the decision to block any move a reality. Granted, it never got that far – mostly because the Maloofs knew their relocation wouldn’t be approved for those above reasons. However, with multiple big money sponsors now opting to spend their advertising money elsewhere, it unfortunately provides ammunition that could expedite the move, at least in the eyes of the relocation committee.
The Maloofs, unable to secure any investments past the lone year they are offering, have essentially all but sabotaged the community financial support that handcuffed them into remaining in Sacramento. They can now claim, due to their own negligence, that they no longer have the needed financial support from the community which unfortunately, forces the hand of the relocation committee.
I’ve long said it was a tactic I expected the Maloofs to eventually use and it appears, as they’ve exhausted just about every other avenue, they have put their final cards on the table. Unable to secure any long term financial commitment (again, because of their own doing) they’ll claim they aren’t financially able to stay in Sacramento and without investments and community funds, the relocation committee will not be able to disagree – even if it’s clearly apparent the situation was destroyed from the inside.
It’s a shady, awful way of doing business – and they’re all but tying the hands of the committee, but, sadly I don’t think any of us are shocked. Which says plenty, right there.