Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
This craziness with the Maloofs and Sacramento could be coming to an end, sooner than we thought. With the unveiling of a new arena plan in Virginia Beach, the writing could be on the proverbial wall.The fans of Sacramento rallied to keep the team here. Mayor Kevin Johnson and the City of Sacramento stepped up to put together an amazing plan to build an Entertainment and Sports Complex to reinvigorate downtown Sacramento and the region at large. Grassroot efforts were empowered to keep the Sacramento Kings here for at least another season.
The Maloofs still have a lot of obstacles to overcome if they hope to close the deal in Virginia Beach. There could be countless twists and turns to the story. But if the parties involved are willing to come up with the dough, and the dough boys are willing to rise to the occasion, we could be witness to the end of our beloved Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.
There could come a second rally by fans to attempt to have the NBA stop the Maloofs from moving, but if Virginia Beach is able to unify, I doubt if anyone is going to stop them. There is much more fan apathy this go-around.
So, let’s say for the sake of argument the Maloofs are successful in relocating the team there. It is unclear whether they would make good on repaying the loan to Sacramento. I think there is a reasonably good chance they will try to walk away from Sleep Train Arena instead of repaying the loan to Sacramento.
It would be a pretty crappy thing to do, but handshaking on a deal then backing out was a pretty crappy thing to do. I don’t think they feel any love for Sacramento. That warm fuzzy feeling is long gone. David Stern might be a bit upset with them, perhaps even willing to offer some amends to Sacramento.
With the Maloofs gone, the City of Sacramento would be free to begin plans for another Entertainment and Sports Complex, no longer handcuffed by the Maloofs. The City would be free to seek a major sport team to be a long-term tenant. Plans for the arena could be rectified.
The NBA might be willing to approve an expansion team for Sacramento, to make amends. By pure coincidence, Sacramento would happen to have a temporary facility for the new team, should the owners walk away from Sleep Train Arena, while the new downtown entertainment and sports complex is built over the next few years. Stern could even have the All-Star game here to help jump-start the City. Certainly, there could be a willing owner, such as Ron Burkle, who would be more than happy to start up a new team.
True, it would not be the Sacramento Kings. Boogie Cousins would go to Virginia Beach, along with his teammates. The new team would likely consist of a bunch of upstarts, although Burkle could pay for some top-named players to come here. The team would have to start from scratch. They would truly appreciate a fan-base who would rally behind them.
If the owners are unwilling to sell the team, do we really want them here in Sacramento? I thought so.
The Kings first came here to play in an old temporary barn. The new team can start in an old broken down arena.
This could be the dawn of a new day and a new beginning in Sacramento.