Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

May 2, 2013
Younger Ranadive a longtime Kings fan

OAKLAND - While walking toward a back staircase that leads to the press section, I happened upon prospective Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and his son, Andre. Ranadive, the Warriors vice-chairman who will sell his shares in the GSW if his group's offer to buy the Kings goes through, was friendly, but didn't want to say much while the process is ongoing.

Andre Ranadive, however, quickly volunteered that he was a huge fan of the Kings' teams that featured Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, and Peja Stojakovic, among others.

The NBA's relocation committee voted unanimously last Monday to block the Kings move to Seattle. An investment group that is headed by Ranadive and included the Jacobs family, Chris Kelly, Mark Mastrov and Mark Friedman submitted a backup offer of $341 million for the Maloofs majority interest in the Kings. The parties are expected to negotiate these next two weeks, with the full Board of Governors expected to meet on May 15. Historically, the league's owners rubber stamp the sales and relocation recommendations provided by their committees.

May 2, 2013
Warriors CEO happy for Sac

OAKLAND - Warriors President and CEO Rick Welts, who commutes to Sacramento where he lives with his partner, Todd Gage, and Gage's two children, said he was "thrilled" by the relocation committee's unanimous vote rejecting the Kings' move to Seattle. Welts suggested, however, that Santiago, 8, and Amanda, 12, were even more excited by the 7-0 outcome. "I'm not sure they're ready to dump their Warriors gear for Kings gear," Welts added laughing, before Game Six of the Golden State-Denver series, "but they probably do that when I'm not around anyway."

A few minutes prior to tipoff, Nuggets coach George Karl, though a former coach and longtime fan of the city of Seattle, pulled me aside in the hallway. "I was really happy for the fans back in Sac," he said. "They deserve to keep their team."

April 29, 2013
Jerry Reynolds on Kings news - and his future

Jerry Reynolds went from anxiety after breakfast to euphoric before dinner.

The Kings appear to be staying put, per the news of a unanimous vote by an NBA committee on Monday, and forgive the longest tenured employee of the Sacramento Kings if he dances in the street. Reynolds, at times the face of the franchise over his 28 Sacramento seasons, has hinged on every twist and turn in recent months - even years - as a man with a deep investment of time and emotion into all things Kings.

Reynolds has worn many hats with the Kings - assistant coach, head coach twice in a pinch, front-office executive and TV color voice. He said Sacramento collectively can stand tall with the news.

"It's pretty darn good news, great news," Reynolds said. "It's a very, very good day in Sacramento. There's reason to be excited."

Reynolds reiterated that nothing is finalized, but that the Kings clearing a first hurdle like this bodes well. He said Sacramento's success as a small-market franchise had to resonate with the owners and the finance committee, with this tidy reminder: In 28 years in the state capital, the Kings had 19 sellout seasons. What's all the more remarkable is the Kings have produced just eight winning teams and 10 playoff groups.

"I think the committee took a look at the overall picture," Reynolds said of fan support. "It's a pretty clear message what we have here. Seattle deserves a team, and I'm sure it'll have one someday. They deserve one - just not this one, and I think that's how a majority of the owners see it."

Reynolds said he has witnessed how the NBA can transform cities during his travels.

"This is great for the city because it's a chance for the franchise to get back to where we all want it to be, and to see the downtown developed," he said. "We're a major city, but to be quite honest, it's the most undeveloped downtown in America. I've seen what sports and entertainment arenas have done to cities, and that's what can happen to Sacramento."

* Major changes? - With change comes uncertainty, and Reynolds understands the business of the NBA can be unkind.

If the Maloofs do indeed sell to the local group quickly brought together by Mayor Kevin Johnson, there's a sense sweeping moves will follow. What happens to president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie, whose contract expires in June? Or coach Keith Smart, who has one more year on his deal? Or Reynolds, also the director of player personnel?

It's very common for new owners to bring in their own people, from the general manager to the coaching staff.

"Oh, absolutely they'll be change, significant change," Reynolds said. "They'll certainly be less change if there was a relocation. But I don't worry about myself. I worry about others, the young people. I was once 35 and 40 years old. I know people don't believe that, but I know at that age, you need to work.

"My wife and I have our life and we know where we'll be next season: right here in Sacramento. I'd like to keep working, but I don't need to out of necessity. I enjoy working the games. We're not going to starve if I'm not wanted, and I understand if there's change."

Reynolds said he'll continue to attend Kings games and concerts in a new arena, regardless of his role. He's a basketball fanatic and a throwback John Mellancamp and Rolling Stones fan, adding, "I'm branching out. I like Adele, too. I'll see them all."
- Joe Davidson
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