Well, that didn’t take long. After a plan had been submitted that was supposed to save Sacramento from the Kings’ relocation to Anaheim, including a funding source, the Maloofs have already gone and rejected the proposal, because the money wasn’t there and called for renovation, not a new arena.
“A representative of the Maloofs listened to their plan in depth, but they do not have the financing in place and a renovation of the existing structure is not an adequate solution,” the team owners said in a statement Saturday.
via Kings Blog and Q&A: Maloofs: Latest Sacramento arena plan not suitable.
No big surprise, there. The Kings weren’t staying in Arco under any circumstances, even the Mayor had said so. If the money wasn’t in place and no new arena, this was never as realistic an option as it was touted to begin with.
That may just about do it. Sacramento’s hopes now rest on either the city of Anaheim voting against bond issuances to renovate the newer Honda Center (that’s right, renovations to Arco are not okay but renovations to Honda are, due to the age differential – a whopping 5 years), or the NBA owners to reject the Kings’ expected relocation request.
The feeling of helplessness has settled into Sacramento. This is just the latest nail in the coffin, sadly.
Phil Jackson’s not exactly what you would call a friend to the NBA small market. He played in New York, coached in Chicago and then Los Angeles. He’s supported contraction, despite growing up, attending high school, and college in small market areas, albeit ones without NBA teams. But Jackson has been surprisingly supportive of Sacramento keeping the Kings, and now has come out against a move to Anaheim.
Prior to the Lakers’ game against the Clippers, reporters asked Jackson his thoughts on Anaheim adding a third team to the area market. From the Los Angeles Times:
“What other metropolitan area has three teams in it?” Jackson said rhetorically. “It’s ridiculous to put another franchise in this market. It just doesn’t make sense to do that.
via Phil Jackson: Lakers coach says third NBA team in Southland is ‘ridiculous’ – latimes.com.
Jackson’s got a pretty good point there. L.A.’s the biggest market, but three teams is pretty ridiculous. Were the team to not be able to pull a big enough portion of fans from the other fanbases, what’s the point of moving it from somewhere that’s already proved it can come out in droves when the team isn’t God-awful.
Unfortunately, the Maloofs are the ones in control of the decision. The only thing standing in their way at this point is their conscience (let’s all laugh out loud) and the other owners who can vote down the move based on their own selfish reasons.
I feel better already.