For those who want to see the Supersonics back in the Yahoo article by Adrian Wojnarowskiis a very good thing. It means that we, as Seattle sports fans, are closer to the return of the City’s first professional franchise. And by return I mean the name and a shared history between the new Sonics and the Thunder. There is a chance for Sonics fans to see the Green and Gold back in action and it’s beyond exciting for us people up here in Seattle.
That being said this news is less then exciting for the folks in Sacramento. There is some hope that one of the local buyers manages to get the team back, keeping them in Sacrament, and that the NBA could then use expansion to fill the hole in Seattle (according to Wojnarowski Stern has left the expansion door open). But for one of those local buyers to step up they would have to compete with a group containing a couple of Billionaires in Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Add in the Maloofs reluctance to sell and you are going to have astronomically high price tagto acquire the Kings and then the cost only sky rockets more, the bigger the pockets of the buyers the better.
If the sale of the Kings to Hansen’s ownership group goes through and he relocates the Kings from Sacramento David Stern’s legacy will take another huge hit. And unlike a few of the other big hits his legacy has endured, mostly by his own dumbassery, this one could be the biggest. It could be the biggest because of their actually had been a deal in place to save the team and build a new arena in Downtown Sacramento.
Under David Stern the NBA has made a living off of twisting the arms of elected officials to force massive public construction subsides of new arenas. The most recent target of this arm twisting was the Mayor and City Council of Sacramento and, like most other cities, they caved in and agreed to help finance a new arena. Unlike most cities, however, the Maloof brothers (the King’s owners) backed out of the deal citing financing issues that weren’t actually there. As a result the Municipal Government of Sacramento doesn’t trust the Maloofs anymore because they still owe the city $70 million from 1997 AND they backed out of the Arena deal which was overwhelmingly publically funded.
It was a sweet heart deal that the City of Sacramento gave the Maloofs and David Stern had taken a major part in those negotiations. To have the Maloofs turn around and spit his hard work in his face had to frustrate Stern and that became clear in his public statementsfollowing the collapse of the deal. And it seems like he wants the Maloofs out of the league. And it seems that Stern’s desire to punish the Maloofs will also punish Kings fans.
It appears that this punishing of Kings fans is going to be the final act in David Stern’s turbulent career as the Commissioner of the NBA. Combine this with the nasty relocation of the New Orleans Jazz, the Charlotte Hornets, the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Seattle SuperSonics and you have a reputation that is badly bruised and to about to take another nasty hit. And this hit looks like it will be Stern’s last bow. Stay tuned folks because this situation is going to get rather interesting, rather quickly.
Proud alum of Washington State University, crazy sports nut, and drinker of beer.