Darren Rovell won’t give up the ghost on the Sacramento Kings ‘relocation’


Oct 30, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings fans celebrate after the Kings defeated the Denver Nuggets 90-88 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN reporter Darren Rovell is a polarizing figure, namely because he’s a bit of a narcissist.

That said – some of his reporting can be quite interesting, but his inability to admit defeat leaves a lot to be desired – not only in Sacramento but in general.

Of course, Rovell made waves within the Kingdom during the Kings relocation saga and has refused to give up the ghost – not only that, but continues to preach his incorrect gospel. Today was no different as Rovell engaged himself in yet another ignorant conversation regarding the Kings and their past relocation (H/T Aaron Bruski for starting the convo):

When you’re not directly involved with a situation, it’s impossible to be on top of things. Even the best will struggle. There’s a reason why some local Sacramento reporters with sources directly involved (especially Bruski) reported information that would eventually become true and why many national media members continually whiffed. They’ll say it was some extreme reverse of culture – a last minute change in the Board of Governors meeting that altered their ‘sources’, but the national narrative was that Seattle had the ball in their court and did until the NBA denied the relocation. They would be wrong. That doesn’t necessarily mean Rovell or people like Wojo were incorrect in their reporting – just that their sources were. And that’s fine, but take accountability. Is it really that difficult to admit being wrong?

Now understandably, when the Maloofs sold the team to the Seattle based group, it wasn’t outlandish to think they were in the lead for the franchise – they were. The problem was – nobody outside of the Sacramento area and a few rouge reporters were willing to concede that Sacramento had more than a chance to keep the franchise.

So what sparked all of this, you ask? This interview (brought up by Bruski) from earlier in 2013 with Rovell where he posted the following:

"Never seen a response like the Sacramento response I got when I tweeted out an empty Suns at Kings game last week. That was predictable given that the city is on edge because they might lose the team. Many of the fans said that my picture was misleading — which is always the line — but at the end of the day, the announced attendance was less than 13,000 for what some will consider the biggest draw in the west now in the Thunder. Fans also said I didn’t know what I’m talking about despite the fact that I’ve covered more relocations and arena and stadium deals on a national level than probably anyone out there. They come back and say this is different. Well, they actually all follow the same basic pattern. You can argue that what I tweeted hit a nerve, but it’s pretty hard to argue that I don’t know what I’m talking about."

Has anybody ever seen Madison Square or Staples Center before a tip? They’re empty. Of course, they fill up once the game gets going – like most venues.

Fact is, Sacramento has filled up their arena capacity to 92% this season – good for 15th in the league. And while that might not be anything to write home about, considering Sacramento is among the worst teams in the league (record wise) and has been one of the worst teams in the NBA for nearly a decade – ranking in the top half of the league isn’t half bad.

The only teams in the NBA with a losing record that rank higher than the Kings in capacity this season are the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics – all major market teams. Take that into consideration. Meanwhile, teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons are struggling to break 65% capacity, yet the Kings are called out for their numbers?

There are times when Rovell can be entertaining – but that’s what he is – entertainment (like him or not). If you’re looking for informative numbers that don’t draw near the page views, you’re barking up the wrong tree.