Mar 24, 2010, 9:20 AM EDT
These are not heady times for the city of Sacramento. There is a lame — and lame duck — governor presiding over a nearly bankrupt state in the capital, while the economic downturn hit the city hard all around that capital.
But the Sacramento Kings provide a sliver of hope — his name is Tyreke Evans. The city could use that hope. In a small market like Sacramento you can’t afford to blow chances like this, they come along too rarely.
And so you have a big shakeup in the Kings front office — out is 11-year Team President John Thomas. In his place the already-hands-on owners will be taking an even more active role: Joe Maloof is now CEO, Gavin Maloof is team’s president, and Matina Kolokotronis is the one that will actually do all the work (heading business operations). At Fanhouse, Sam Amick breaks down the why.
(Thomas) was an old-guard business executive in a new NBA frontier, one where leaving money on the table is no longer an option and creativity in marketing and branding is not only desired but expected. Especially in a small market locale like Sacramento…
All the while, the Maloofs saw their organization losing value by the day. Arco Arena, where a sellout was once a near-guarantee every time out, was the least-populated building for home games in the NBA last season and is 29th this season. The perceived mismanagement on the business side was compounded by the losing, as the Kings haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006 and had a franchise-low 17 wins last season.
This season the Kings have been marketing like mad, and promoting Tyreke Evans at every turn. As they should have been.
Ultimately success off the court will be tied to success on it, but if that comes the fans of Sacramento will rally to the team again. For many years that was one of the loudest buildings in the league, a place with a real home court advantage. There is hope that those days are on their way back.
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