A decision on the fate of the Sacramento Kings is due today, and given how the Internet has changed the world to give people plenty of advanced information, it’s amazing there’s no clue as to whether the Maloofs will choose to move the team to Anaheim or stay in Sacramento.
Apparently a decision has been made, but it’s not been made public. Bad news for websites like this one, but good news for the stakeholders in this whole deal; there will be fans disappointed no matter which was the coin flips.
Today is the deadline for the Maloofs to file a relocation request with the NBA. If one is filed, it needs to be done before 2 p.m. The Maloofs plan on talking with NBA officials before making a decision.
Still, there are strong hints that the Maloofs are leaning toward a move to Anaheim. For starters, league sources say the Maloofs have been polling other NBA owners to see if there’s support for a relocation request. Sixteen of the league’s 30 teams must approve the request. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are sure to oppose the request (their TV contracts could be hit a little with the presence of the Kings — or, as they would be known in Anaheim, the Royals), but it’s not clear whether other teams really care all that much. A move wouldn’t affect scheduling at all.
And there are other reports the Maloofs have consulted an antitrust attorney to review their options should the NBA oppose a relocation request. The power of David Stern and the NBA to control franchise moves is not absolute: Donald Sterling moved the Clippers from San Diego to Los Angeles over the wishes of the league.
Finally, there’s no doutb a move to Anaheim is in the best financial interests of the Maloofs. A move would mean a larger TV contract, a stable arena partner and investor in Henry Samueli, owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, and more in revenues. A new arena in Sacramento would certainly address the long-term future of the Kings, but that’s still an incredibly iffy proposition.
RELATED STORIES: Will Kings move? No one seems to know; Report: Kings likely to stay in Sacramento for ’11-’12; Kings relo app deadline pushed back to May 2; Anaheim to discuss aid for Kings; Maloofs shoot down Arco refurb; Kings: From boom to bust; With Kings eying Anaheim, Johnson vows to continue arena quest; Maloofs sell naming rights to arena; admit to looking at moving NBA’s Kings; Johnson: We’ll take another run at new Kings arena; NBA: We’re done with Sacramento arena efforts; Consultant: It makes no sense to move Cal Expo as part of arena project; Maloof: We’re not looking at move to Seattle; Size of Arco Arena site threatens Kings arena deal
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