It’s official, Indian-born tech billionaire Vivek Ranadive and his Sacramento group own the Kings. Which means the team is staying put.
The League’s Board of Governor’s (made up of the 30 owners) unanimously approved the sale on Tuesday. This is the official confirmation of what was expected after the same board rejected a move of the Kings franchise to Seattle, essentially killing the sale of the team to the Chris Hansen group.
This is good on two levels.
One, the Maloof family is now out of the NBA, and that is a good thing. They were young energetic owners a decade ago, which was good for Sacramento and the league. But some bad investments left them cash poor, they handled getting a new arena in Sacramento about as poorly as you could, and by the end they were just an embarrassment.
Second, this is good for Sacramento. Mayor Kevin Johnson did what a lot of mayors could not — put together an ownership group and an arena deal in just a few months to keep the team. He played hard but he followed the road map laid out by the league and met goals that seemed impossible at the time.
It sucks for Seattle, which had a very good arena and ownership plan of their own. They feel used and it’s hard to blame them. Hopefully there will be another chance because there should be an NBA team in that city.
The Kings will now officially start the search for a new GM and coach.
LOS ANGELES – LeBron James‘ team trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter of the All-Star game, but he led a competitive comeback.
This shot put his team up 146-145 over Stephen Curry‘s team, and Team LeBron held on for a 148-145 win:
Great penetration by Russell Westbrook, and he and Kyrie Irving moved the ball well. LeBron made it count.
LOS ANGELES — The new format for the NBA All-Star game brought a little more defense to the first half of the annual showcase, but it didn’t do much to enliven the game. That said, the game has been better than the pre-game “entertainment.”
Midway through the second quarter, his team down 15, LeBron James decided to make it a game again and played with some energy. That included a three, and a couple impressive alley-oop finishes. The best came via Russell Westbrook.
There also was this one courtesy Kemba Walker.
Those may be the two best dunks of the first half.
LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis often relies on his Pelicans teammates to set him up.
Tonight, he gave a nod to one of them.
Davis started the All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins‘ No. 0 jersey. Cousins and Davis were both voted starters then drafted by LeBron James, but Cousins can’t play due to injury.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
Very cool gesture by Davis. He’s an excellent teammate.
The Internet got itself all in a huff on Saturday as they watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. In particular, the matchup between Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid stirred up a bit of controversy.
Specifically, folks accused Embiid of cheating.
During the passing section of the obstacle course, Embiid didn’t actually make any of his passes into the ring. He then proceeded on the next section and was neck-and-neck with Markkanen as they tried to finish out the head-to-head competition. Markkanen won, but that didn’t stop folks from saying the 76ers All-Star had circumvented the rules.
We now know that’s not true.
According to the rules (provided on the NBA media site, page 47 of the 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide) Embiid was allowed to move onto the next section even though he hadn’t completed any of his passes. A player only has to exhaust the rack, not complete a pass. It appears rules sort of assume that if a player stands there trying to complete a pass three times they’ll fall so far behind they won’t be able to catch up.
Re-watching the video, it appears Embiid knew this rule to the game and figured if he didn’t make the first one he would quickly try to blast the next two passes off the rack so he could then move onto the next section.
Embiid even took to Twitter to head off accusations that he had cheated.
Trust. The. Process.