The Wednesday report that Sacramento Kings’ owners Joe and Gavin Maloof were finalizing an agreement to sell the team for $500 million may have fallen through in the short term, but David Stern may make his presence felt before he retires to push the deal through.
The abridged version: The Kings need an arena, and they have had a nightmare of a time getting one approved in the fiscal purgatory known as the state of California. The Kings are really bad at basketball, the fans are becoming increasingly disengaged and the Maloofs have a lot of debt that the team isn’t helping them settle as it drains their pocketbooks.
And Seattle needs a team — it deserves one after having the now Oklahoma City Thunder ripped from them.
All of this chaos has occurred under David Stern, who by the way, has been at the center of two lockouts and could use a cleansing of his reputation. He’s been seen as an autocrat and a ruler with an iron fist. So in his swan song as he nears retirement, it’s fitting that he wants to go out looking like a knight in shining armor, riding off into the proverbial sunset. Make no mistake about it, he has the type of power to do exactly that.
He’s no Captain America, but he can wield a pretty big shield in capitalist America, where the NBA operates its revenue-generating, well-oiled machine.
That’s the kind of mindset that needs to be taken on here; the NBA is a business, and Seattle is a great market while Sacramento is mediocre at best. The great Sacramento fans that are left don’t deserve this treatment any more than the Seattle fans did when they went through the same ordeal. But they don’t have the resources to win this fight.
Stern will come out looking like a hero here, because his influence will likely put the finishing touches on a deal to have the Kings in Seattle and playing in Key Arena as soon as the 2012-13 season.
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