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Wednesday marks Kings’ first home game since sale announced

Jan 23, 2013, 5:48 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

This already had the makings of one of those low-attendance NBA games with plenty of empty seats filling your television screen — a mid-week game between two struggling team, the 13-28 Phoenix Suns hosted by the 16-26 Sacramento Kings.

But this turns out to be the first Kings home game since the Maloof family confirmed the sale of the franchise to a Seattle syndicate led by Chris Hansen — a group with plans to pack up the team and move them to Seattle next season.

What is that going to mean in the arena Wednesday? Nobody really knows.

Probably not much. At least not for this game. Combine the uncertainty around the franchise with the bad teams and a Wednesday night and you most likely get really low attendance. Like you would have anyway.

Some of those in attendance will no doubt carry signs urging the NBA to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Others will have posters slamming the Maloof family. Lots of those. The fans in the building will pull for the Kings in a game they certainly can and should win.

The energy to keep the Kings in Sacramento is not in the arena. Mayor Kevin Johnson is leading the charge, putting together a group made up of big money billionaires and local investors that will make an offer to both buy the team and get a new arena built in Sacramento.

Johnson is going to take that pitch directly to the Board of Governors, a body of the owners that has to approve both the sale and the franchise relocation. Last time Johnson was before them, when the Maloofs wanted to move the franchise to Anaheim, Johnson won the day convincing the owners to wait and give Sacramento a chance to get an arena deal in place.

And they did. There was a handshake deal made with the city, AEG and Maloofs — a deal the Maloof family backed out of.

This time Johnson will have a harder sale, but to suggest he can’t do it and underestimate the man would be a mistake. There is a reason Hansen and his group are working to present and air of inevitability about the deal being approved.

How does all that translate inside the Sleep Train Arena starting Wednesday night? We will see. Just like what happens with the team.

  1. mrlaloosh - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    David Stern is a sellout. Pure & simple.

  2. hojo20 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    I went to Hartford Whaler games after the owner announced the move. Like Sacramento, Hartford was a one-team city. Fans might as well go to games, because like Hartford, pro sports will never come back to Sacramento. It’s been 16 years and I still miss my Whalers.

  3. dannymac17 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I feel bad for both cities.

    Sactown loses the Kings.

    Seattle gets the walking dribbling headache Cousins.

    its a lose lose.

  4. tiennguyen645 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Clipper should mover to SACRAMENTO

    • mazblast - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      I have to admit, that’s the fastest way to make the Lakers the best pro team in Los Angeles again.

    • dannymac17 - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Why on earth would they do that.

      this is probably the stupidest proposal i have ever seen.

  5. mazblast - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    The Doofus Maloofus family is about as popular in Sacramento right now as Roger Goodell is in New Orleans. They’re probably best advised to stay away–permanently.

  6. imthewiz77 - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    This may be really cold hearted, but most of the country has to take a ride to see a game. Its only 80 miles to Oakland…

    • sponedal2013 - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      It’s only 160 miles to Portland.

  7. Corey Jeppesen - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Exactly what imthewiz just said. You all are crying like your losing your team like we (Sonics) did. Please. We didn’t just lose the Sonics, we lost basketball. You aren’t. Just drive 80 miles to see the Warriors. You still have basketball!

    That being said, you have every right to be upset, but to claim to be going through the lain of what we went through. You weren’t promised tomorrow like our owner promised. You all knew this was a possibility. Your owner never said either way since owning the team. Outer owner flat out said the Sonics were staying and he flat out lied.

    Have fun Warrior fans.

    • sponedal2013 - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Um, you’re woefully uninformed on the situation.

      If the Kings leave, we won’t just lose basketball, we’ll lose our only pro-sports franchise in the metro area. After the Sonics left, you still had the Sounders, the Mariners, the Seahawks, and for basketball, although they aren’t pro, you have UW, who won the Pac-10 a couple years ago.

      And you want us to drive 80 miles to see the Warriors? How about you drive 160 miles to see the Blazers (yes, I realize that’s absurd, just as absurd as you telling us to drive to Oakland).

      And let’s not even get into promises… in 2006 the Maloofs and city worked together on an arena plan, then the Maloofs killed their own deal. In 2011 the Maloofs, the city, and the NBA all agreed on an arena plan then the Maloofs killed it when they couldnt afford to put up $7M in pre-development costs (even though the city council had already approved $255M in public funds). Then after the arena fell through the Maloofs “promised” that they were committed to Sacramento, then less than a year later here we are, so you’re completely ignorant of all the facts in this saga.Try reading up: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/03/30/george-maloof-says-family-still-100-percent-committed-to-sacramento-arena/

      But despite all that, you’re right, our situations are different. Because in Sacramento, the mayor, local government, and even state legislators are bending over backwards to keep the team in town. In Seattle, your state and local governments helped back the moving fans for OKC.

  8. klownboy - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Say hello to your Seattle SuperrrrrrrSonics!!!

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