In case you haven't heard, the Sacramento Kings are possibly very close to being sold to a Seattle-based ownership group led by Steve Ballmer, with the intent of moving the team to Seattle in 2013. A local TV reporter says one of his sources says the Maloofs turned down their offer, but if I had to decide between trusting Wojnarowski's sources and a local TV reporter, well, no contest. Even with the Maloofs' notorious tendency to come up short on relocation efforts, I'm much more wary of Steve Large's report.
Considering the intricacies of how the Sonics originally moved, I think there must be some in Seattle with some conflicting feelings about this development. Obviously, most are elating in the simple fact that the team they grew up with and loved is about a hair away from returning.
But simultaneously it must be difficult for at least some of those fans to have little but joy. After the NBA and David Stern disregarded the region and maneuvered some sketchy dealings with Clay Bennett, for them to return with open arms like little of ill intent while betraying the public trust ever happened is, for lack of a better term, skeezy.
If you're aware of the fantastic documentary of the inception of the Oklahoma City Thunder and loss of the Seattle SuperSonics, SonicsGate, they knew a return of the Sonics would be bittersweet. They knew an expansion team was unlikely and that the most likely chance of another team to be called the Seattle SuperSonics would come at the hands of an existing team's relocation, dealing fans somewhere else similar pains to what they encountered.
Maybe that's just it. They're too far gone through the looking glass. The curtain has been torn aback, the illusion of the NBA caring about the fans or the city uncovered since 2008. They can root for the team that was given to them in a similar manner, because they know what they're dealing with and if nothing else, they're wiser this time around. They see through the dung smokescreen and are happy to just have the team back. I don't think there's many Sonics fans out there who remember the loss of the team and can have nothing but joy in their hearts as they watch reports pile in about Seattle possibly getting the team back. I believe many of them are having these conflicting feelings of happiness and sorrow for the people of Sacramento.
Through all this, it's so very sad for the city of Sacramento and Kings fans. The ownership group led by the Maloofs poorly managed the team, their own finances and their relationship with the city, stumbling and bumbling their way into desperation to sell. And so soon enough team employees will likely be looking for new jobs, fans' hearts crushed after fighting to keep the team in Sacramento through efforts of relocation to Anaheim and Virginia Beach. And the Maloofs have made out like business geniuses, selling the team for a cool $500 million,
$100 million more than what the reported price for which they bought the team EDIT: They bought the team for a reported $247 million, $253 million less than the reported offer from Ballmer's ownership group.
It leaves a disgusting familiar taste in my mouth and I wish the business of sports didn't have to destroy so much and be so embarrassingly run, but such is life.
Anyway, if this does indeed go down, congrats to Sonics fans who will likely finally have the team they cherish back in its home. My dearest condolences to Kings fans and employees. They truly have some of the greatest fans there; I hope a team returns to Sacramento sometime.
And congrats to the Maloofs who ran their team into the ground and made a $253 million profit off the original sale price while dragging the devoted fans through the mud. Donald Sterling's racism and all-around terribleness is nearly impossible to top, but you finished strong. Well done. Thanks for the memories.
The $6,000 Combo starring the Maloofs (via SactownRoyalty)