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Seattle getting Sacramento’s Trash
Good news Seattle – if the rumors hold any water, you’re getting an NBA team again.
And now the bad news – it’s the Sacramento Kings.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the owner of the Kings, the infamous Maloof family, is negotiating with a group led by Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer and Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen. If a deal were to go through, and based on the Maloof’s history that’s an “if” worthy of capital letters that could be seen from outer space, the Kings would move to Seattle and begin play in 2013-14. The deal is reportedly worth $500 million.
It’s a big “if” because the Maloofs backed out of two other deals at the 11th hour. In March, 2011, the Kings practically had the moving vans loaded on their way to Anaheim before the family got cold feet. Then, almost a year ago, the ink was almost dry on a new arena deal when the Maloofs backed out, deciding it wasn’t a fiscally sound deal.
Backing out of that latter deal was probably a good idea. The Kings are Sacramento’s only major league team in any of the four North American major professional sports, yet the team is dead last in average attendance this year, at 13,177, 76.1 percent of capacity.
Last season, they were 27th out of 30. In 2010 and 2011, 29th. See why the family didn’t want to extend the lease?
As for Seattle, the Emerald City has been in mourning since the Super Sonics packed up and moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season where they became the Thunder.
If the deal gets done, here’s what Seattle will get:
The Kings currently stand at 13-22. Their best player, DeMarcus Cousins, averages 17 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He’s also been suspended by coach Keith Smart for two games this year. The previous head coach, Paul Westphal, sent him home after a game against the Hornets because Cousins was “unwilling…to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team.”
Westphal eventually ended up getting fired. Cousins is still there, but so is all of his baggage.
The Kings are perhaps the most well-traveled franchise in the history of professional sports. Born in 1945 as an original member of the National Basketball League as the Rochester Royals, the team was a dynasty in the 40s and 50s before moving to Cincinnati in 1957. Despite a roster that included Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas, the Royals never got beyond the second round of the playoffs.
In 1972, the Royals moved again, this time becoming the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.
How bad does a franchise have to be where two cities can’t decide which one wants it? After three seasons, they settled on Kansas City Kings. They reached the conference finals once before moving again, this time to Sacramento in 1985.
Playing in California’s capitol, the Kings won two Pacific Division titles at the turn of the century, but haven’t been to the playoffs since 2005-06. Since then, they’ve not been near .500 in any season.
They won’t get there this year, either.
Ah Seattle, be careful what you wish for.
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