For fans of professional basketball in the Sacramento region, Wednesday came with crushing news.
Sacramento Kings fans are looking at the very real prospect that their local team is heading out of town for good. After a nearly 30-year run that has brought excitement and frustration from Sacramento to Auburn, the Purple and Black look to be headed to Seattle.
After repeatedly saying they would never sell, it appears the Maloof family has finally had enough, and they’re looking for the door. While it seems they’re on their way out, is there a way to keep the Kings in? Because if this NBA team says farewell to the region, most certainly, so will all of major professional sports.
While not everyone is a basketball fan, there is something to be said about the cachet of having a professional sports team in town. Even casual fans, and there’s a lot of us out there, like taking in a game every once in awhile.
For the last dozen years Auburn Recreation District employee Jerry Fisher has given nearly 200 kids annually a taste of big-time sports – that’s now in jeopardy.
“Some of those kids, this is the one chance they’re ever going to get in their life to have that experience, and that experience is being taken away over money,” Fisher told the Journal in regard to the possible move.
And it’s a lot of money — $500 million is the rumored number, well above what the team is reportedly supposed to be worth ($300 million according to a January 2012 Forbes survey).
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’s seeking out a local group with the capital to buy the Kings and fans, through an online petition, are asking NBA Commissioner David Stern for the chance for a Sacramento buyer to match whatever offer there might be on the table. While this could all be a long shot, we applaud the mayor’s attempt and hope there’s an opportunity for a group, or even one person, to come forward and keep our beloved Kings.
Lately there hasn’t been much to cheer about when it comes to the product on the court, and the continual snubbing of the community by the Maloofs has left an understandably bitter taste in the public’s mouth. But let’s get that shot to start anew, to go back to a time when it was about basketball. To an era when talk was about playoff positioning, who’s better in the post and who our favorite players are.
The Journal’s been there during the high times of the Sacramento Kings, and we’ve documented your passion for this club – from people sharing their Kings memorabilia collections, to playoff predictions, to fan thoughts on the once-heated Lakers-Kings rivalry, to good old-fashioned sports coverage.
Let’s return to that time again, let’s hope there’s someone willing to come off the proverbial bench and score that game-winner for the fans and keep our Kings.