Kings Take On Dallas… And Seattle


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Kings got back to the basketball portion of their ever-spinning world Thursday night. Kind of.

Yes, they played for the first time since news broke that the owners, the Maloof family, were deep in negotiations to sell to a group that would move the team to Seattle. And, yes, 14,011 showed to Sleep Train Arena to watch, a good crowd for a mid-week game against a bad team, and those fans did bring noise in the continued delicate split of supporting the team while sticking their Maloof voodoo dolls full of pins. DeMarcus Cousins even got ejected, this time for a flagrant foul, and just try finding a greater sign of normalcy.

But Seattle was unavoidably everywhere before and after. Maybe during as well, with the hand-made signs brought in by fans urging the Kings to stay or even for the Maloofs to sell to the citizens of Sacramento a la the Packers in Green Bay. It is one of several ideas that has been mentioned the last couple days as a solution.

Definitely during the 117-112 overtime loss to the Mavericks, actually. It was impossible not to notice the irony that two of the five Kings on the court the final seconds were Tacoma native and University of Washington product Isaiah Thomas and Seattle native Aaron Brooks. Thomas was even the reason the night lasted into an extra period, thanks to a 25-foot bank with 9.1 seconds remaining for a 101-101 game.

The before was a candid Keith Smart. The Kings coach was asked 90 minutes prior to tipoff whether the relocation talk could become a distraction, whether the sale is complete and moving is inevitable or talks on the deal at a reported $500 million linger and the future remains an uncertainty. He did not hesitate.

“It’s going to get there,” Smart said matter-of-factly of the distraction. “I’m going to have it from my side — my family, my kids, everything. We all are going to have it. But we have to, at a moment, block out everything and focus on the task at hand. As soon as we get away from the two hours of practice, hour of shootaround, two hours of game time, then we’re going to go back to reality. And reality is going to ask, ‘What are you hearing?’ and all those things there. We have to answer those questions from our friends, family and everyone because everyone will be a little concerned.

“What we’ll preach is, ‘Do what you need to do in that time frame, but as we get ourselves back into the environment where we have to practice, workout, stay on top of what it is that you’re supposed to be doing and we’ll deal with all that as it goes day by day.’ It’s definitely going to be a distraction. Obviously yesterday (when news of the potential sale first broke) was. But we’re pros. We’ve got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.”

The after?

Brooks, sitting alone at his locker, trying to find the right words. The Kings in Sacramento would be nice. Playing point guard in his hometown would be nice.

“It’s a lose-lose,” he said. “Somebody’s gotta lose.”

A difficult spot.

“Yeah,” Brooks said. “Very difficult.”


  1. Salva Zack says:

    i cant imagine if someday for some reason the bulls have to move anywhere, and i dont live in chicago, and i only saw two games at MSG and Barclays C. in a NY holidays but as a bull for life fan (and Malaga F.C. my soccer hometeam) i dont want to see them in another city, so i feel very sorry for SAC as well as i felt for Seattle the day the sonics left.

    I know the NBA its a bussiness and sometimes the reasons to leave are strong but when u follow a team for a lot of years that makes the team a part of you, its easier for me to explain it my native lenguage, sorry. Cheers from Spain

  2. ben says:

    sad for sacramento

  3. It’s hard to make an unbiased comment on this topic, as Memphis wouldn’t have the Grizzlies unless they left Vancouver. It’s a tough situation, but the NBA is a business.

  4. Big Euro says:

    I always find it strange how teams are not really teams in America, just franchises. The idea of ever moving a team like Barcelona to London or Manchester United to Birmingham just because those cities are bigger markets is unfathomable oer here. I wonder what will happen when the league one day expands to Europe. Will all these small-market teams I.e. Kings, Grizzlies, Bobcats find themselves simply being moved to the biggest market?

    Over here many soccer teams have become unprofitable but the teams don’t move and abandon loyal fan bases. The owners are forced to sell to repay debts and another ownership group takes over to improve the team. The team essentially belongs to the city. The way the NBA system works, only the biggest markets seem to secure enough to keep their teams. About 20 other teams can go at any given time.

    • Alan says:

      well the problem is that not as many people in the towns are commited to the teams, let alone the sport as in europe, a large population of the cities see it as just more money they have to pay to the city, and some of the cities dont feel like the teams are in the best interest of the town so they dont help them withnew arenas, so it makes it difficult to keep your team if you dont have alot of really wealthy commited fans, and then comes in an outside buyer who wants to move the team, and will pay more money and the owner takes the offer. The fans in the city are crushed when their team leaves town, but there is nothing they can do if the owner turns his back on the city.

    • slider821 says:

      two things:

      The NBA requires team’s arenas to meet standards. If they don’t, the NBA can require a new arena to be built, which puts strain on the owners and city. The Kings owners don’t want to drop that dime in Sac even though the city was willing to help.

      Second, stop comparing the NBA to soccer. Just stop.

  5. Solution says:

    Relocated the Kings to Seattle just contributes to the problem started by the Sonics moving to OKC. The Kings should stay in Sacramento and a new team should be formed in Seattle, that way all the fans win. If the Kings moved to Seattle they wouldn’t just be all the sudden a quality team because of it. They would still face all the problems they face in Sacramento besides the outdated arena. I agree that the Kings should be sold to the citizens of Sac, like the packers in Green Bay.

    • Alan says:

      well the problem is that most NBA fans feel as if the nba is watered down in terms of how good a team is, but maybe if we didnt add entire divisions, and instead add 2 teams, and change the divisions to 4 4-team divisions, that way the two teams with the most realistic chance of having a team can get one, which i feel is Seatle and Virginia Beach.

  6. The Martians Are Coming ! says:

    A team owned by the city of Sacramento – run by the bureaucrats of the town hall.

    This script has to be written for Orson Welles – by Orson Welles. WOW !!!