For the past quarter century — through Reggie Theus, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and now Tyreke Evans — the Sacramento Kings have played at ARCO Arena.
By the fall of 2011, that will be no more. The 25-year deal between ARCO — owned by BP — and the arena runs out in February and the oil and gas company will not be renewing the deal, according to the Sacramento Bee. The name will remain on the building through the end of this season.
Which leaves the Maloofs looking for a new big-money sponsor in a terrible economy. Good luck with that.
Actually, it’s much more than just the economy. The Maloofs and the NBA have talked down ARCO arena — basically calling it an old and outdated building — as they try to drum up public support for a new building. Then there is the likely lockout next season, which could cut into games at the start of next season.
So the pitch is, “We want your name on a building we will talk poorly about, try desperately to move out of and may not have games to start next season in it.”
Sacramento is still a relatively small market — Arena sponsorship money will matter a lot on the team’s bottom line. But that was not a lot of money now.
ARCO paid between $700,000 and $750,000 per year for the naming rights. That was a groundbreakingly large amount of money when the deal was signed a quarter century ago, but is well below market value now.
Except getting market value is hard. Remember the new NFL Cowboys Stadium is still without naming rights as owner Jerry Jones waits on the market to come back to him. That may be harder for the Maloofs to do, but their price tag will be smaller as well.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.