Sacramento Kings' Move to Anaheim Still Royally On?
But amid the Virginia news item that put the rumor in play--and the swift media and blogosphere labeling of the report as bullshit--there is a lonely item sustaining the pulse for a Kings move to Anaheim.
The report by Inside Business of Virginia--that the Kings will announce the Virginia Beach move next Wednesday, that Comcast will build the arena, that Live Nation is on board--is being knocked down because Virginia Beach has never before been mentioned as a possible destination for an NBA team, the league has not received a required relocation application from the Kings owners, the team's PR peeps are as puzzled publicly as anyone, and pro basketball hasn't exactly had much luck building sustaining fan bases in small markets lately (see Memphis, Charlotte, New Orleans . . .)
Anaheim, of course, has a huge market to draw from, despite the Lakers and Clippers being just an extremely maddening bumper-to-bumper drive away.
OC Weekly Sacramento Kings to Anaheim archives
But NBA commissioner David Stern has routinely crapped on the idea of the Kings leaving Sacramento like a cow in a Central Valley slaughterhouse. If the Kings can't come to Anaheim, why would it be OK with the commish for them to hit Virginia Beach.
At this point, I've written off the idea of the Kings moving into the Honda Center as merely a threat the Maloofs pull out when negotiations to stay in Sacramento get bogged down, despite Mayor Kevin Johnson's weak-sauce defense that the city will just land a different NBA team should the Kings skedaddle.
If a Kings-to-Anaheim move is just a negotiating ploy, the Maloofs are still dotting the t's and crossing the i's to legitimize it, however.
The idea was the team name from the Sacramento franchise's roots--Rochester Royals, Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City Royals--would be resurrected because there already is a Los Angeles Kings pro hockey franchise (which is an up-and-comer, am told). Even an Anaheim Kings so close in miles (but not with freeway traffic) would create market confusion.
Well, as lalate.com "exclusively" reports, the Maloofs have filed an update with the U.S. Trademark Office for the aforementioned geographical combinations of the Royals team name as well as "The Orange County Royals" and "The Anaheim Royals of Southern California." (In yer face, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim!)
Call it sneaky meets sneakers.