It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This is a time to reflect; a time to think about dreams. It is also a time to prepare to say goodbye (reportedly, er, sources say, by the time you read this) to the Sacramento Kings. We may want to ease our sorrows by putting ourselves in Seattle’s shoes. That is, let’s hop over to their side of the internet and check out what they have to say.
You can believe it now: NBA is coming back. This time the deal is done. The Sonics are coming back in the form of the Sacramento Kings. No this isn’t a dream. And it isn’t another one of those here-come-the-Kings teases. This time the deal is done. The Sonics are coming back in the form of the Sacramento Kings…And remember, the Maloofs, who have tried their best to run this team into the ground, no longer are running this show…I just have the feeling, judging by the smart and understated way Hansen and his colleagues have gone about the arena proposal and the acquisition of this team, they will be equally good at finding the right people to make the right personnel decisions. These guys are winners…We may never open our arms to commissioner David Stern, but he wanted this deal to work. He told me four years ago he wanted Ballmer in the league. The league is better with Hansen and Ballmer in it.
Fascinating. Now, back to the 916…
Sacramento officials, however, vowed to press on with their plan to assemble a counteroffer that would keep the Kings from leaving. Johnson plans to bring a rival investor group to the board of governors’ meeting in New York in April and make the case for keeping the team in Sacramento. The board would then presumably vote on which city would get the Kings – Seattle or Sacramento…”When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win,” the mayor said Sunday night in a prepared statement.
Confusing. I guess this is all standard stuff when it comes to professional sports and by the time we’re told what is going on, the real buttons have already been pushed.
How does this effort to raise cash and woo the NBA into rejecting the move compare to this story about the Sacramento city manager informing the City Council that the city has nearly $2 billion in unfunded liabilities?
Most worrisome, Shirey said, is $440 million in retiree medical benefits that the city has no plan to fund besides annual payments of $11 million from the already battered general fund budget, which funds core city services such as police protection, park maintenance and fire personnel. The total unfunded liability stemming from medical benefits has grown by $60 million in the past five years…”It was all funded with the general concept that the world was always going to be the same as it was 2005, with rising housing values and rising stock market values,” he said. “The last four or five years, reality has set in and cities are getting handed the bill.”
Encouraging. What say you? What’s the story behind the story that only insiders know?