Does the greater Los Angeles area really need more NBA teams than New Yorks has, and will have even after the Nets move to Brooklyn? More than Chicago?
The Sacramento Kings are serious about a move to Anaheim and negotiations are ongoing. But according to Mitch Lawrence at the New York Post (via Eye On Basketball), the Lakers and Clippers are not on board.
The move to Anaheim will be opposed by the Lakers and Clippers, who see it as an encroachment on their territory. But sources close to the Maloofs say they’re willing to pay the two L.A. teams whatever it takes to relocate. That would be in addition to the league’s relocation fee of $30 million.
League sources already said that the Honda Center in Anaheim is far enough away from the Staples Center that is home to the Lakers and Clippers that the Kings would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers and Clippers. However, the NBA Board of Governors (the other owners) could vote to make the Kings pay fees to the two Los Angeles teams.
Certainly the Lakers and Clippers would like some compensation. The question is would it really be enough to deter a move?
Lawrence also points out that billionaire in Henry Samueli — the owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks and who runs the Honda Center — could loan money to the Maloof brothers to help pay for a move. However, the Maloofs have said publically they are not taking a loan or selling a portion of the team too Samueli.
This move is gaining a lot of momentum, even if we think that a third team in the market will face challenges. Especially if they try to complete a move and woo a new fan base after a lockout rips away part of the inaugural season in their mew home. (“Hey Orange County, come see us play! Right after our millionaire players and billionaire owners get done fighting over how to divide up your money.)
Meanwhile, some very loyal fans in Sacramento have tried to fill the building and make their emotional appeals. Their points are valid. But likely to fall on ears that only hear the noise made by the rustling cash of Anaheim.