[UPDATED] Sacramento Kings In Serious Talks to Move to Anaheim: NBA Commissioner

Categories: OC Media, Sports
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UPDATE, FEB. 25, 3:39 P.M.: Although Phil Jackson is the only one to go public with his opposition to the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim (scroll down to last post), there has been a lot of talk about the Los Angeles Lakers franchise working behind-the-scenes to stop a SoCal relocation to protect the market share Showtime shares with Blake Griffin's J.V. squad.

But at least one NBA observer argues the Kings darkening the Honda Center is good for the Lakers and the Clippers.

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Photo by Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Lamar Odom feels the loves at the Honda Center in Anaheim while playing against the Jazz last October.
Take it away, Dexter Fishmore, the Lakers blogger for SB Nation Los Angeles:

The move, if it happens, will make Southern California the unquestioned hoops capitol of the world. Anchored by the Lakers, the league's flagship brand, a full 10 percent of the NBA would have a SoCal address. Locals would relish seeing some of the most electric young talent in the game--Blake Griffin, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins--grow up in close proximity. In a few seasons, after the Clippers' and Kings' youngsters have had time to develop and coalesce, three of the eight teams in the Western Conference playoffs could hail from these parts. And think of the buzz and energy if two of the three are ever contenders at the same time. Think back to the Lakers' and Kings' legendary conference finals series in 2002, and imagine what that would've been like if the teams were just down the road from one another. Throw in an A-list college program at UCLA and vibrant prep and pick-up scenes, and SoCal's gravitational pull on the basketball world would be unmatched.

Later:

[H]aving the Kings in the neighborhood could actually benefit both the Lakers and Clips by converting two road games a year into de facto home games. Instead of flying up to Sacramento twice per season, they'd need only cruise down the I-5 to Anaheim. And when they arrived, they'd find a much friendlier crowd than they would at ARCO. This holds especially true for the Lakers, who dominate the mindshare of local basketball fans. Until the Kings earn the affections of an organically grown, Orange County fanbase--a process that will take years, if not decades--the Lakers will feel at home and much-loved when they visit the Honda Center.

Considering how long it would take the Anaheim Kings to reach contender status, the Lakers would continue to be loved in Orange County for years to come.

As Fishmore puts it, "People don't forego buying Chateau Lafite just because Ralphs has a special on Heineken 12-packs."

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UPDATE, FEB. 24, 11:47 A.M.: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson confirmed to local reporters that buzz about the town's Kings NBA team possibly moving to Anaheim "are more than rumors."

League Commissioner David Stern informed Johnson before the All-Star break that the Sacramento franchise's owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, are in serious negotiations with Anaheim officials to come south. Not that there is anything former NBA point guard Johnson can do about it. "As a city, we can only control what we can control," he told reporters.

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"KJ" makes a splash.
So, what's Johnson's answer to keeping the Kings in Sacto? Buy home-game tickets, merchandise and anything else to support one of the league's worst teams.

Oh, and everyone get behind a new arena fit for the Kings.

"Sacramento used to have the best fans in the NBA," says Johnson, who hails from the city's predominantly African-American Oak Park community and went on to star at Cal and, after one brief season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Phoenix Suns.

"David Stern has said repeatedly he loves the Sacramento market," observed Johnson, who added the NBA's chief executive identified the franchise's current problem being "a half dozen failed attempts" over the past 10 to 12 years to build the Kings a new arena.

Other small markets are also dealing with this, as owners staring into a possible player lockout see more revenues generated from state-of-the-art facilities as a way to remain economically viable, Johnson explained.

He said the Maloofs would be looking at Sacramento differently if the city had a new arena in place that was named after a generous corporate sponsor.

You know, like Anaheim's Honda Center.

To keep the NBA in town, the Sacramento community must share that new arena vision. Unfortunately, the Maloofs are running out of time. If they choose to have their team play somewhere other than Sacramento next season, they must inform the NBA by March 1--although there are reports this morning the bros may seek a relocation extension through the end of the season.

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Nice shorts
"They are business people, and they have to make a decision on what is best for their business," Johnson said. "Hopefully, staying in Sacramento will make the most sense."  

Count Phil Jackson among those who seconds that emotion.

"I think we'd like to see them stay there," said the Lakers coach who was famously serenaded with cow bells by fans at Arco Arena after he complained Sacramento is a "cow town."

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Jackson conceded Los Angeles is not a "saturated town" because it still lacks a pro football team, but he said three NBA teams in Southern California would be "a little bit overdoing it."

Many NBA observers believe the owners of the Lakers and LA Clippers are working behind-the-scenes to stop a Kings move to Anaheim out of fears an Orange County team would slice into their financial pie.


Both LA teams would get a small share of a relocation fee paid by the Kings' owners, but it wouldn't be as financially sound as maintaining an absolute grip on sales of pro basketball tickets and merchandise in the region, the Times reports.




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ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 21, 8:57 A.M.: It did not overshadow the Los Angeles Clippers' phenom Blake Griffin winning the slam-dunk contest by jumping over a car or LA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant winning the All-Star game MVP award for a record-tying fourth time, but hot NBA news out of the Staples Center this past weekend did concern Orange County.

Commissioner David Stern confirmed rumors that the owners of the Sacramento Kings are in serious discussions to bring the team to Anaheim.

"I do know because I read in the newspapers that they are supposed to have had discussions with Orange County, and they have," Stern told the Sacramento Bee. "I don't know whether they are ongoing. No one has told me that they have been tabled, and no one has told me that they are ongoing."

Stern added he is "not driving it or making any recommendations, and we'll see how that goes."


Kings' co-owner Joe Maloof has only confirmed on the record that the team is talking to other cities while Sacramento Mayor (and former NBA point guard) Kevin Johnson and business leaders try to keep the Kings in Cow Town. Voters there have repeatedly killed efforts to build the team a desired new arena.

Officials at the Honda Center are not squawking, but the professional-sports franchise whose owner also owns the building has expressed a desire to have the NHL's Anaheim Ducks share the space with an NBA team.

Such a move would give Southern California three NBA teams (yet still no pro-football franchise).

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31 comments
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Culichi1967
Culichi1967

all you idiots who jumped on the lagunero bandwagon now have an opportunity to get your culos off it. unfucken incredible how one day you go from one team to another. talk about fair-weather.but then again you oc fans are typical and too easily labeled: very much identical to the sacto rednecks. now you and the rest of the 909 inbred nation will have a reason to wear your Affliction t-shirts once again. yipee!

anyway, write letters to the OC Rag, demand your Kings, go and buy your Vlade Divac jersey, enroll in a cow bell class, wear your Angels hat with that Kings jersey. Hell, wear a Mike Napoli jersey.. hahaha.. fucken frat fucks. Impress me: buy a Rochester jersey.. or a Reggie Theus one.

Tbplayer
Tbplayer

I think this stuff is true if the Kings become contenders again. If these arguments are true, then we would see some effect of the Clippers playing in LA... but nobody cares.

RobietheCat
RobietheCat

No, the Kings need to stay in Sacto.

Bring the Clippers to the OC. That makes sense.

Keep the Kings in Sacramento, just change the name.

How about, the Sacramento Pension Kings?

Ummham
Ummham

I am so depressed because it does look like the Kings are leaving Sactown. But this area just does not have the $$$ I guess to get that arena built. BTW--I have never seen a single cow in Sacramento, and I have lived here for 25 years.

Tj_1damutt
Tj_1damutt

Ok so I have posted my thoughts about the Kings going to Anaheim, and how the Lakers and Clippers would oppose it. I guess you all weren't listening when i said it wasnt about you. oh well I guess you should check out this website that posted a day after I made my argument.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/...

BB Fan in OC
BB Fan in OC

I will never be a huge Kings fan - but I will certainly be at every game. Honda Center is beautiful and being able to drive a short distance to see games --- season ticket holder right here for club level, sign me up.

amyjo1
amyjo1

Correct me if I'm wrong but San Diego is considered part of Southern California and they do have a football team.

Kenneth Morris
Kenneth Morris

The sad fact is there are already too many overpaid NBA and NFL pre-madonnas in California the most business hostile state in the nation, You cant tax welfare recipients which California has 3x the Nations average, Nor can you tax the 4 million Illegals that now occupy that state.

So we will have to wait for a political leadership that can actually run a business to build anything and make a profit. I love basketball and was once a season ticket holder, but the taxes and regulations and BS made me close my business and sell my tickets. Good luck Mr Stern in dealing with the players unions.

bballer33
bballer33

No offense but, despite their close proximity, Southern California has MILLIONS of residents. A great portion of these residents are the most staunch of laker haters, and are unimpressed by the Blake Griffin one man show. Lets not forget that this team will not only be drawing fans from the O.C. but also from the Inland Empire and surrounding cities. As and Inland empire resident, I know basketball fans are tired of driving through 2 hours of traffic to go see a game that they vastly overpaid for.

Tj_1damutt
Tj_1damutt

Ok people settle down. Lets look at this realistically. The Sacramento Kings are not and I repeat are not going anywhere. Lets talk the whole Anaheim issue. First it doesnt matter If you want the Kings there or not. The Lakers don't want them there and the Clippers who are finally getting some support dont want them there. So they will be lobbying the other teams not move them. This is for the simple fact that the Kings would cut into some of their merchandising money, and tv money. The Kings actually have a larger fan base staying in Sac. then they would have moving to Anaheim. This is due to the fact of what i mentioned above. Lets say the Lakers have 75% and Clippers have 25% of market right now and the Kings came and lets say took 10% of market from each? (Hypothetically) That little 20% that they would gain is not near the support that they have, having all of Nor Cal minus Bay area.Now lets talk about them going to NV. This is the furthest thing that will happen. Why? simple, you cannot gamble on any sporting event beside boxing and mma in NV that is the law period. That is why no pro baseball or football or basketball team has ever moved there. Don't believe me? you can bet on college games, try finding a wager to place on unlv or Nevada This is simply a ploy by the Maloofs to get this deal done. And let me say I want the Kings to stay in Sac. The Maloofs know that they can simply have the arena they want and the fan base they use to have if they simply put a winning team on the floor. They have a problem doing that though because coming to Sac is a hard sell to Veterans without having a new stadium.

PurpleNdSilver
PurpleNdSilver

If the Kings move to Anaheim, I'd be able to watch the Bulls live when they play against them ;D

ThinkingGal
ThinkingGal

If the Kings move to the Honda Center, I'll be first in line for season tickets. I'm sitting in my office as I write this, looking out my window at the Honda Center and Angels Stadium. I'd be a die-hark Kings fan if they moved here.

This is not the L.A. market. Orange County has a bigger market than Sacramento, and most of us don't want to drive the two hours in traffic and pay exorbitant prices to see the Lakers not show up for another home game.

#1 Anaheim Kings fan, right here.

OBomb
OBomb

It makes absolutely zero sense for one of the Lakers archrivals to move into the Los Angeles market and try to compete there against that powerhouse. It makes more sense for the Kings to move back to Kansas City where a beautiful, newer arena, is waiting for an NBA team to call home.

Mark
Mark

So the Maloof Brothers have money to build a Casino in Vegas but want the taxpayers to foot the bill for a new area for their last place team and charge the taxpayers to enter in the arena they paid for? Cool

Arden and me
Arden and me

Kings to Anaheim

Hornets to Vancouver (has an Arena and Ownership group in place, Seattle doesn't)

Allaboard
Allaboard

Orange County would welcome an up and coming playoff caliber team to Anaheim. The Kings would enjoy a larger fan base than what they have in the Sacramento area. Currently, the Kings' fans are not filling the seats and the city is not approving a new arena for this team. Time to relocate!!

Tj_1damutt
Tj_1damutt

Sacramento Pension Kings, thats pretty funny, How about we just stop our water flow to So.Cal. and call your teams L.A. Dried-Up Lakers, and the L.A. Docked Clippers?

Tj_1damutt
Tj_1damutt

Don't give up hope yet. Read my other past posts. Sacramento does have the money to build a new arena, thats why the last city council meeting was soooo important. Sac thought it would cost 600million dollars to build but the city appointed contractor who has built 3 other stadiums for NBA teams stated he could do it for 300 Mil. and I quote "For 600 million I could build 2 arenas" The Maloofs have always wanted to stay in Sac. but they keep running into a wall with the planning keep falling through. That was before Kevin J. to the helm and he is working hard to get the deal done. The Maloofs are losing money everywhere and have been holding on to the Kings for dear life. They see LA as a quick fix, but Sac would take awhile to get new arena built. They just want assurance that stadium will get done this time.

RPinSA
RPinSA

Is this the Fox News or OC Weekly website? Use your Hannity soundbites somewhere else.

Professional athletes are overpaid "PRIMA donnas" because the owners pay them. The Maloofs care more about their TV revenue, the people sitting courtside and the luxury box owners than some season ticket holder like you. Do you think the Maloofs have the same complaints you spewed? Hell, no. They have shills like you repeat the same bumper sticker slogans for them.

Go back to Sara Palin's webpage with the other teabaggers and leave the rest of us alone.

j
j

Um LA FANS r flocking to THE BLAKE SHOW...... Another LA KINGS of ANAHEIM... Bwahahahaaa!

sxcdfvgbjhn
sxcdfvgbjhn

sac is already in debt with the maloofs..why would they put up that much more money??

Mark
Mark

Dude, the Kings are in last. Who would root for them? Laker fans are bandwagoners and the Lakers are winning so they won't root for the Kings and Clipper fans are loyal because, let's face it, loyalty has to be the only reason anyone roots for the Clippers. They can't be called the LA Kings so it doesn't really make sense for them to be here

Guest
Guest

Is that why the water around here smells sooo much like bullsh!t? It comes from Sacramento?

Tj_1damutt
Tj_1damutt

Sacramento isn't in debt to the Maloofs. The Maloofs are in debt to Sacramento. Roughly 70 million.

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