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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    The Sacramento Kings are introduced during the last game at Sleep Train Arena on April 17, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Lorenzo Graciano, Steven Graciano, Rex Wheeler, Arielle Gomora, Cory Ames and Sarah Tanner cheer the Sacramento Kings as they play the Los Angeles Clippers in a game at Sleep Train Arena on April 17, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

Poll

Weekend Poll: If you were doing ESPN's rankings, where would you put the Kings?

Leading Off: Nowhere to go but up for Kings on ESPN list

Published: Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C

Magazines love to rank things.

ESPN the Magazine just published its annual list of "best" sports franchises, based on its "Ultimate Standings" survey.

The magazine has the Kings dead last.

Seriously?

The Memphis Grizzlies top the list, followed by the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Green Bay Packers.

Here's where other Northern California teams landed on the list of 122 NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams: No. 28, Sharks; No. 32, Warriors; No. 33, 49ers; No. 36, Giants; No. 61, A's; and No. 116, Raiders.

Hmmm … the Sharks, Warriors and 49ers ahead of the Giants? Have these guys been to AT&T Park for a game?

The list is based on weighted scores in eight categories: fan relations (25.2 percent), affordability (17.4), bang for the buck (16.8), stadium experience (12.4), players (11.3), ownership (10.2), title track (3.6) and coaching (3.1).

We're figuring the folks at ESPN did the survey well before the Kings' recent changes: new owners, management, coaches and players, plus a record for new season-ticket sales.

The Kings are fighting back with an ad campaign that says, "Hey ESPN. Nice Airball. New Era. New Swagger."

And Kings president Chris Granger made a promise to fans, saying in a statement, "We will work tirelessly until we give them the best franchise in the world."

After the Kings challenge for a spot in the playoffs and sell out most home games next season, maybe ESPN will give them some love and respect, perhaps even put the team in the top 100 next year.

What to watch

NFL, Indianapolis at 49ers, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: Colin Kaepernick and Co. look to bounce back from the Screaming in Seattle in the 'Stick's friendlier environment.

What to do

Baseball, Minnesota at A's, 1:05 p.m., CSNCA: It's the final regular- season home game for the A's as they close in on the American League West championship.

Weekend poll

If you were doing ESPN's rankings, where would you put the Kings?

• 1-25

• 26-50

• 51-75

• 76-100

• 101-121

• Last

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Tom Couzens



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