Question of the Day: Will the NBA's Kings stay in Sacramento or move to Anaheim? [Updated]
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Going, going, gone. It's not as if the Sacramento issue is one that just surfaced. We've endured years of talk of a replacement arena, as well as frustration over the lack of action from the Maloofs and David Stern.
The greater issue is whether Anaheim becomes the latest pawn in the NBA-franchise-relocation game, with Rochester-Cincinnati-Kansas City-Omaha-Sacramento-Anaheim Royals/Kings to yet move on to another locale.
The lesson should come from the Grizzlies, with their shortsighted exodus from Vancouver, Canada, to can't-support-a-franchise Memphis, Tenn. When (it's not "if" anymore) the Kings do relocate, it has to be to a market that will embrace the product over the long term, prove profitable to both ownership and the league.
And it has to be a relocation than can succeed even if the best that currently can be offered is a ragtag mix light-years from legitimate playoff contention.
[Updated at 2:38 p.m.:
Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
It's Sacramento's move.
The Kings, granted an extension to apply for relocation until the middle of April, obviously are still willing to listen to the best offer Sacramento can make to keep the city's only major-league team in town.
Keeping the Kings from bolting to Anaheim's Honda Center will require a significant investment from the business and regional leaders Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is calling on.
In Anaheim, Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof can draw on the alluring number of people in the Southern California market to project large attendance and television dollars, although they would be wise to truly ponder how spoiled by success the market has been, and how harshly the masses can turn their back on an organization not committed to championships.
At this hour, the Kings appear headed south. For Sacramento, the good news is that there are hours remaining.
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Let's see ... Anaheim has an arena already waiting in the Honda Center. The Maloofs won't turn over crucial financial documents to a team of Sacramento business leaders who are finally rushing to develop ways to build a new arena in Sacramento. Yes, I'd say the Kings are as good as gone.
The Maloofs have been decrying the lack of revenue streams from Arco Arena for years. Maybe the loyal Kings fans' cowbells drowned them out. It's too bad too: If the Kings leave Sacramento, the NBA again will lose a knowledgeable, passionate fan base like the league did when the SuperSonics left Seattle. Memories of those cowbells clanging during epic Kings-Lakers playoff series will linger.
But professional sports is a business. And even if the Kings weren't bad, which they are, selling out arenas no longer is enough. At least Sacramento will keep some NBA ties. Mayor Kevin Johnson will still be around.]
Photo: Will the Maloof brothers -- George, left, Gavin and Joe -- and the Kings wave goodbye to Sacramento? Credit: Jose Luis Villegas / Sacramento Bee / MCT