Who would have guessed it? The NBA owners are doing the right thing. Gavin and Joe Maloof might not have the votes needed to move the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim.
Of course, the inspiration behind denying the Maloof's driving privileges is purely financial, cynical and selfish, but what's the point if the ends justify the impetus?
With former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson leading the charge, there is significant opposition to a Kings move that might go far beyond owners in the Orange County area resisting a move for purely financial reasons. Apparently, the majority of NBA owners, a percentage required to approve any move, are resisting the Maloof's hopeful move for purely financial reasons. How nice of them.
It turns out that shoe-horning three NBA teams into even the nation's second-largest television market might not be the smartest idea we've seen so far.
I'll let SI.com's Sam Amick, who has been all over this story from the beginning, take it from here:
Specifically, a source with knowledge of the proposal revealed that the television rights riches that had long been seen as a major motivating factor for the Maloofs aren't quite as lucrative as they had hoped. And while it had been assumed they would attempt to fill the programming void left by the Lakers at Fox Sports West due to their recent megadeal with Time Warner that starts in 2012, two sources said that is not the case.
The plan as presented in New York included a possible partnership worth $20 million annually with KDOC, an Orange County-based, independent television station that is co-owned by the very man working so hard to make this move happen.
The length of the deal is not known, and it might merely be a stopgap solution to bridge the gap between now and the Lakers' eventual departure from Fox Sports West in 2012. Nonetheless, the fact that preliminary discussions with the more prominent cable provider went nowhere and paved the way for a partnership on a lesser platform is certainly surprising.
Amick goes on to point (in a must-read that this post really doesn't do justice) to the fact that only the Charlotte Bobcats made less TV revenue than the Kings last season, but the team has also been miserable for years and broke for just as long. Who's to say that new owners, ones that weren't bleeding money in other various ventures (like, say, gaming at the height of a global economic crisis) won't be able to spend the proper amount on a front office, coaching staff and players? Pumping the wins back up and, presumably, the television ratings and revenues.
For the Maloofs to toss up their hands as they go through an ineffective coaching carousal and youth movement with no apparent end in sight is a whitewash. The Kings have proven to be profitable, even under nearly-as-frightening economic times as things were a decade ago. They've proven to sell out (Amick quotes Johnson as pointing to sell-out seasons in 19 of 26 years, with the team only making the playoffs 10 times during that span) in both times good and bad, and a commitment to winning in Sacto (as opposed to a commitment to making just a wee bit more money initially in Anaheim) would no doubt prove pound-wise over time.
First, the move has to be called off. And with the Maloofs seeking extension after extension before flinging their hopes on the mercy of their fellow owners, another year in Sacramento is appearing more and more likely.
Provided of course that the NBA allows its players to work next season. That's another story altogether.
KHTK 1140′s Mark Kriedler via twitter is reporting that the group led by Rob Stutzman has the necessary signatures to block the City of Anaheim from issuing $75 million in bonds that were going to pay for $25 million in renovations to the Honda center as well as $50 million to the Maloof family to help with relocation fees.
Another, significant, obstacle.