Your Sacramento Kings tip off in a few hours in Chicago. Jonathan Santiago at Cowbell Kingdom has a great roundup of the national media predictions for the 2012-13 Kings. Folks predicting the team to be a sleeper playoff team are out there, but most are non-believers. The Sactown Royalty preview by Greg Wissinger urges caution but acknowledges some improvements in Robinson, James Johnson and Chuck Hayes’s health.
Last year a .545 winning percentage was the cutoff on the Western Conference playoffs. I think that is a more realistic goal for 13-14, but I don’t think an improvement of 100 percentage points and a 35 win season is out of reach this year. Go Kings!
I’m really excited to learn that News 10 will broadcast some Sacramento Kings games this season. As a cable cord-cutter, the biggest issue that I run into is a lack of live sports. I’m not an avid TV sports viewer so it’s not a big deal, but I do miss being able to tune in and check out the Kings. Hopefully this helps expose more people to this squad which I think is going to be pretty exciting.
Before you get too excited, it’s actually just 10 games that will be aired on News 10. Here is the list:
A report out of the Hampton Roads Business Journal says that the Sacramento Kings will relocate to Virginia Beach and play in a new arena to be built by Comcast.
The Biz Journal report is here. I almost want this to happen by tomorrow just to get this topic put to bed for good. I am 100% ready to root for my first NBA love, the Golden State Warriors, who I think have an exciting roster and are poised for good things. And I don’t even care if I’m jinxing things by jumping ship at this point. It seems pretty clear that between the Maloofs being checked out and Kevin Johnson and the city’s inept attempt at keeping the Kings, we should just prepare for the inevitable.
With potential arena operator AEG backing out of any future arena plan that did not include a major tenant, local news is reporting that Mayor KJ and his “Think Big” group are planning to pursue Major League Baseball. Specifically, it appears the Mayor is planning to seek the Oakland Athletics franchise. (Apparently the group doesn’t “Think Big” about hypocrisy.)
As this is still a town that was too dysfunctional to acquire a Minor League team, losing the River Cats to West Sac, I don’t know how they can promote this with a straight face. I think forcing the River Cats out of Raley Field would be a colossal mistake even if Sacto could support an MLB franchise, a question to which everyone except apparently the Mayor and the people advising him knows the answer: No it can’t.
But even as the arena negotiations were falling apart the Mayor had no problem getting reelected. So don’t expect the pro sports silliness to cease anytime soon.
Matthew Schmidt, checking in for Bleacher Report, makes the case that the Kings will be able to contend for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference in 2013. His ambitious claim is based on a prediction that Cousins will continue his rise and give us a 20 and 12 season, and that the backcourt of Evans/Thornton/Thomas will also improve their play. He barely takes Thomas Robinson into account.
Personally I don’t think he’s that far off. Cousins and Thomas are really exciting, and adding Evans and Thornton almost makes up for the lack of a true small forward.
What do you think, is the future looking bright for the Kings? More importantly: would it only serve to make them a better investment for another city?
Ryan Lillis, one of the Bee’s big three reporters doing actual professional journalism on the topic of the arena, reports today that Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings co-owner George Maloof have decided on a sit down meeting this week to discuss possibly reviving the DOA arena deal.
Reading that this morning, the question you might have is does the Mayor actually do anything except work on this arena deal? When is the last time you remember hearing the Mayor’s name in connection to anything except this problem. I’m only being somewhat facetious as this is big news in these parts and maybe it is getting squeezed out. But somehow I doubt that KJ is out there working on anything else.
The big news yesterday was the latest snag in the arena deal, which came when the Maloofs suddenly read the non-binding term sheet we all had already stopped talking about weeks ago, and realized they were on the hook for some development funds. Today Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler report that David Stern is planning to pick up part of the tab to make sure initial work can get done.
A pessimistic person would say that this is just the first line in the sand drawn by the Maloofs, and that if they resolve this issue it’ll just be something else down the road. I am trying not to be that guy. For instance, who says that one of the tenants of a building that will be owned by someone else should have to pay for infrastructure? Maybe there is a better deal that takes away some of those costs and puts a corresponding amount in profits back into the city’s bank account.