Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
You’re an NBA owner. Sacramento or Seattle: Who do you pick, and why?
Steve Aschburner: Where is King Solomon, or at least Solomon Jones, when we need him? Slicing the franchise in half like the Biblical baby could work, right? If the folks in Washington are fine with Sea-Tac Airport, so why not Sea-Sac basketball? Split the home games, deck ’em out in purple and green … OK, so that would not work. No more tap-dancing to delay the inevitable. And the inevitable, if I’m an NBA owner, is that I vote what’s in my best interest. That means Seattle, for its bigger market size and for the right some day to maybe transfer my franchise where I want to, without too much intervention from the league or anyone else. These guys are businessmen. Intangibles and loyalty aren’t nothing, but they do have price tags.
Fran Blinebury: So very deviously evil of the Quizmaster to present us with Sophie’s Choice. Are you gonna give the good citizens of Seattle or Sacramento — not to mention Scott Howard-Cooper — our home addresses when we pick the other guy? The truth is we can’t make the decision, because we don’t have all of the financial facts and contract terms available to the owners. If you’re asking me where I’d rather spend a June afternoon during the NBA Finals, order me a dirty martini on the rooftop deck at the Pink Door, just an olive’s throw from Pike Place Market. But then where would I get my cowbell fix? My guess is it’s going to come down to which city can get the new arena up and running faster. In that case, we’ll likely be raising our glasses to the loud memories of Sacramento. Shaken, not stirred.
Jeff Caplan: First, let me say that I love the city of Seattle and I miss it dearly on the NBA map. I wish for the SuperSonics to soon return. However, not at the expense of the city of Sacramento and the great fans there for so many years (cowbells notwithstanding). Without having direct knowledge of the intricate details of each deal, it does appear that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has done an incredible job to put together an ownership group and an arena deal that will take Kings basketball out of the cow pasture and into a colorful downtown scene. I hated the way the Sonics were ripped from Seattle. And I would hate to see the same happen to Sac. If there was not a competitive deal on the table, that would be one thing. But, it certainly appears that there is.
Scott Howard-Cooper: I pick the location that is going to be best for the NBA. Sounds simple enough, but it’s not. Some may want the decision that benefits their team – more small market teams is good for owners in small markets, a team in Seattle means a few more bucks in owners’ pockets on relocation fee, etc. In other words, I’m not voting until my fellow owners do in real life. I say there could be more unexpected developments.
John Schuhmann: I have no dog in this fight and it sucks that one of these two cities will be without a team. But if there’s nothing wrong with the Seattle agreement, the Seattle ownership group or their arena plan, then I guess I’d have to approve that agreement, because it’s already in place. I’m just glad that, no matter which city wins, the franchise is going to have new ownership and management. The Kings have been a disaster for the last five years and the problems start at the top. The Maloofs have put minimal money into the team and Geoff Petrie hasn’t helped with his decision making. So as long as we’re getting a smarter and more viable group to replace the one currently in charge, I’ll be happy.
Sekou Smith: For sentimental reasons, this is an impossible choice to make for an incumbent owner. Luckily for said owner, this is a business decision. Taking the fans and their feelings into consideration could be dangerous. And this is not a fair fight between cities. Sacramento is a fine town, but Seattle is a world class city that anyone who has ever visited there knows well. So instead of weighing all of the pros and cons of each city, you go with the Benjamins baby. I’m taking the best offer. And from every indication, that offer can be found in Seattle. You have to ignore the history and the heart tugging from the fans and make a business decision.