Four Locations for Possible Kings' Relocation
The 15-year odyssey to obtain a new arena in Sacramento appeared resolved.
However, the city's franchise, the Sacramento Kings, backed out. So now, the possibility of relocation has come up again.
The future of one of the longest running franchises in NBA history in California's capital is bleak. The situation has become so toxic that the city has given their best effort to give a deal, and the negotiations with the Maloof family (owners of the Kings) has been compared to dealing with North Korea. Former NBA player (and current Sacramento mayor) Kevin Johnson asked the NBA to give Sacramento time to develop a plan to get an arena deal, and it appeared that this was a done deal at the All-Star Break.
However, on April 13th, the Kings stated that no deal was in place, leaving the possibility of relocation to come back. This past Tuesday, George Maloof stated that the team was not moving and that the team wants to stay in Sacramento. However, with the relocation deadline having passed, there is always next year. So 2014 could be the year that the Kings move on. As the situation with the ownership in New Orleans being settled with Tom Benson taking over as owner of the Hornets, all eyes of the relocation front are on the Kings. Here are four possible destinations.
Anaheim, CA- This is where the team prefers to relocate to. In March 2011, the Maloof's lawyers registered trademarks using the name Royals, which would go back to the original name of the franchise used in Rochester & Cincinnati (and to avoid confusion with the Los Angeles Kings). Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli has been looking for a basketball tenant since becoming the operator of the Honda Center before owning the Ducks. While this makes sense geographically, it does create a situation of having three teams in a 35 mile radius. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers could potentially block this move, since they are in the Staples Center.
Seattle, WA- Seattle has been without a team since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City to become the Thunder in 2008, ending a 41 year run in what is a great basketball town. The lease at Key Arena for the then-SuperSonics was an awful one. Seattle needs a new building to get a team back, and they are putting more of an effort to get a team here. Most likely the team would re-take the identity of the SuperSonics, but Seattle Kings would not be ruled out if say the Kings actually relocated here.Continued on the next page