Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 27, 2009
Opening tip: The Cal Expo primer (while awaiting the Sacramento Warriors)

Clippers (15-43) at Kings (12-47)

Scoring: Kings 15th (99.3), Clippers 26th (95.2).
Shooting: Kings 25th (44.5 percent), Clippers 30th (43.6).
Scoring defense: Kings 29th (108.8), Clippers 24th (103.6).
Shooting defense: Kings 30th (48.2 percent), Clippers 23rd (46.7).
Rebound differential: Kings 30th (minus-5.5), Clippers 28th (minus-4.3).

The link: Clippers coverage in the Los Angeles Times.
The almanac: On this date in 1959, Bob Cousy had 28 assists as the Celtics scored 173 points against the Minneapolis Lakers, a team record for a regulation game that still stands. Scott Skiles of the Magic later topped Cousy with 30 assists. On this date in 1998, the Pacers beat the Trail Blazers 124-59, a 65-point difference that remains the second-largest margin in league history. Only the Cavaliers beating the Heat by 68 in 1991 is wider.


Not sure who's in charge of bringing the smoke and who is responsible for the mirrors, but it's a big day on the arena front as NBA reps "unveil an ambitious plan to turn much of Cal Expo into a densely packed urban community" with a new home for the Kings as the centerpiece, as The Bee's Tony Bizjak describes the hours ahead in the paper today. No intersection moment, no major decisions, in other words, but important because the league is scheduled to discuss where they've been hiding the printing presses that will generate the hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the project with no end in sight to the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

This is a story that will mostly be handled by people with special insights into the worlds of business, public planning and government. It is so not about the Maloofs in particular or the Kings in general. But one quick thought on the topic and then on to important NBA-related aspects.

Loved the comment by John Moag, the league's point man on the project, that "We have about a year to put something together that makes sense. If we miss that opportunity, we do have a problem on our hands."

They have a problem on their hands if they miss the opportunity?

What exactly does he call all the previous about-a-years of wading through the arena sludge?

The pertinent NBA points, to clear up bad speculation and bad reports:

*Forget the March 1 deadline to apply for relocation. It's a non-issue now. That filing will only come after months of negotiations between a team and a pirating city, not because some community leaders and money men from Anaheim or San Jose chatted up the Maloofs. And not by the weekend as the league is committing a year or so to the Cal Expo push.

If/when the time comes for March 1 to mean something, it won't sneak up on you. There will be no surprises.

*You can imagine how much David Stern appreciated Mayor Kevin Johnson bringing the Warriors into play as a possible replacement if the Kings leave. Johnson the politician was merely showing an aggressive early outline to keeping Sacramento connected to major-league sports, and thinking ahead is always a good thing, but KJ the point guard was a very smart basketball man who surely knows Stern hates the image of the league playing musical franchises. The mayor also name-dropped the A's, so it wasn't a direct message to one team or even one sport.

*Whatever happens will not be a Maloof decision. It will be a Stern decision. The Kings' owners will typically walk straight down the middle and follow the lead of their 29 counterparts and the commissioner. The financial success or failure of the Kings impacts them in the shared-pot world of the NBA.

*The Warriors are very, very confident no team is coming to San Jose -- so confident because the message was clearly signaled by other clubs and the biggest glass offices at NBA HQ. Contrary to speculation, their unqualified belief is that San Jose has about a zero chance of happening, and the Warriors would argue even that percentage is too high.

The South Bay has obvious appeals. Arena in place, the desire to add a second major tenant alongside the NHL Sharks, a corporate structure, a fan base that may not want the rush-hour drive to Oakland. But as much as NBA owners want the Kings in a money-making situation, whether that is Sacramento or elsewhere, they are not going to hurt the proven business of one team for the possibility of helping another. The Warriors don't draw a large portion of their income from the San Jose area, but they draw enough to make a difference and hold the marketing rights there as well.

Could it happen? Yes. But in addition to requiring a major relocation fee to the league to be distributed to thirsting teams -- the SuperSonics paid $30 million for approval to move to Oklahoma City -- the Warriors would have to get another huge chunk to offset lost revenue. Injuring one business partner to assist another doesn't seem like the direction. And, besides, all this money is coming from where in this economy?

That seems to be the question of the day on several fronts.

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