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Sacramento is still fighting to keep the Kings
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 9, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eight months after Kevin Johnson thought he buried the full-court shot, thought he kept the only professional team in his native Sacramento from leaving for Anaheim last year and earned hometown hero status until the end of time, the most exhausting of games goes on.
It’s triple overtime in the Kings’ relocation saga, this small market story that seemed to have happy ending when a handshake deal was announced in a hotel hallway in Orlando on Feb. 27, and the former point guard turned Mayor is well aware that he has fallen way behind.
Seattle looms as the greatest threat of all, with a group headed by billionaire Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer having already landed city council approval for a $490 million arena for professional basketball and hockey. The Maloof family that owns the Kings, that took it to such great heights during their glory days in the early 2000s and down to the lowest lows of late, has said consistently that they don’t want to sell. But the mistrust in the Maloofs runs deep in these parts, and so the tension remains in what has become a most awkward arrangement between a once-beloved team and its city.
“If somebody is going to pay an exorbitant price, and overpay, or do something very similar to what (Anaheim Ducks owner Henry) Samueli was going to do in Anaheim, if Chris Hansen is looking to do something like that, then that may be something that doesn’t apply to us,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports. “All things being considered, I would like to believe that (the Maloofs) have a change of heart and are willing to consider selling at a fair price and that they would give us a chance to keep the team here in Sacramento.”
What’s fair, however, is playing no part here.
It wasn’t fair when Seattle lost the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008, and it wouldn’t be fair if that NBA debt were repaid by moving this Kings team that came from Kansas City in 1985 and quickly became one of commissioner David Stern’s favorite markets on … [For more on Sacramento is still fighting to keep the Kings, click here.]
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