One year go today will perhaps be remembered as one of the most important in the history of professional sports in Sacramento.
On Jan. 9, 2013, the Maloofs reached an agreement to sell the Kings to a group from Seattle led by Chris Hansen, catching many folks in Sacramento off-guard, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, even though it confirmed what had been long rumored that the Maloofs were planning to sell the team, despite their public denials, and let them leave town.
Most important, it set in motion the wheeling and dealing that eventually led the NBA to reject the sale to Hansen and instead approve a sale to a group led by Vivek Ranadive, who had brokered a deal with the city for a new downtown arena that would be ready for Opening Night in 2016.
That approval began a new era for the Kings in Sacramento.
The vilified Maloofs finally were out of the picture, replaced by Ranadive, the software billionaire, and his partners, including Mark Mastrov of 24-Hour Fitness fame. Ranadive and Mastrov have been very visible at Kings games, in sharp contrast to the absentee ownership of the past few years.
Ranadive quickly brought in a new management team and spent millions sprucing up the tired arena.
Though the Kings havent found much success yet on the court, theyve made bold moves, including acquiring Rudy Gay, and no one will be surprised if veteran Andre Miller is soon added to the roster.
While theyve stressed patience with the team, plans for the arena are rapidly advancing, despite the oppositions push for a ballot measure, and ground-breaking is expected this year.
When the arena opens, it will be assurance that the Kings are here to stay.
Do you feel secure that the Kings will never leave Sacramento?
• Yes, I cant wait for the new arena.
• Maybe, if the arena opens on time.
• No, the arena wont ever be built.
Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports
Will Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner ?
• Yes: 15%
• No: 85%
Total votes: 86