The Sacramento Kings were once one of the most exciting franchises in the NBA. In fact, during the days where the likes of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Bobby Jackson, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic were battling the Lakers, Arco Arena in Sacramento was one of the premier venues in the NBA. Much has changed. As we speak, the 2011 NBA Playoffs are in full swing, while the Sacramento Kings franchise teeters on the verge of relocation.
Former Phoenix Sun superstar point guard and now, Sacramento mayor, Kevin Johnson is expected to meet with members of the NBA’s relocation committee in the state capital beginning Thursday to market his city’s ability to keep the Sacramento Kings and construct a new sports-and-entertainment complex. If Sacramento has one thing going for them it is that a former NBA player will be going to bat for the city.
Johnson wrote today on his city website blog “We are squaring off against everybody who thinks Sacramento can’t support an NBA team, who thinks all we have are cowbells, loud fans and an old barn for an arena… And we are squaring off against ourselves, trying to overcome our image as a city that’s short on corporate support, lacking Fortune 500 headquarters, unable to command big TV market dollars.”
It certainly won’t be a question about whether there is enough fan support for the team, if there’s one thing that can be said about the folks in Sacramento it is that through the good times and the horrible current times, the fans have always been loyal to the team.
As we saw with Seattle, who lost their team to Oklahoma, once that relocation bus starts its engines it’s hard to stop it.
Will the Sacramento franchise be relocated? The final decision may hinge on Johnson’s ability to get the attention of the corporate big wigs. As it stands right now, the NBA board of governors have voted to extend the relocation deadline until May 2 2011.