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SBD/May 17, 2013/Franchises
Let's Make A Deal: Maloofs Agree To Sell NBA Kings To Sacramento Group
Published May 17, 2013
STILL SLEEPLESS: In Seattle, Don Shelton wondered who is to blame "for Seattle not having an NBA team," and he wrote Stern during the sales process did "nothing to change Sonics fans' opinion" of him. Stern on Wednesday started a press conference announcing the Kings would stay in Sacramento "with a jab, intended or not (I think it was), at Seattle by saying he had to hurry because he 'had a game to get to in Oklahoma City.'” Many are "convinced that he worked behind the scenes to make sure the Kings didn’t end up in Seattle" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 5/16). Also in Seattle, Nick Eaton asked of Stern, "Is he that clueless? Is he that out of touch? Was he just not thinking?" Eaton: "No, I’m inclined to believe Stern was as deliberate as he always is." Perhaps the OKC comment "wasn’t intended maliciously, perhaps it really was meant as just a joke -- but, boy did it pack a punch. A punch right in Seattle’s gut" (SEATTLEPI.com, 5/16). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said Stern "might as well have taken the Space Needle and stuck it to Seattle" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/16).
WASTED OPPORTUNITY? ESPN's Michael Wilbon said there is a 33% chance Seattle will get an NBA team in the next five years because Stern, who is retiring in February, "wants to go out with a team in Seattle." There is "talk out there about Milwaukee" relocating, as the team due to its arena situation seems a "little bit vulnerable." However, Wilbon does not "buy Indiana … or Charlotte being vulnerable now" to relocating to Seattle. But ESPN's J.A. Adande said if Stern "wanted a team in Seattle," moving the Kings "was his chance." Adande: "I'm not sure you're going to be able to find a duplication of the civic energy that's there right now." He wondered whether the "civic passion be there after this populace has been sold-out by Howard Schulz, hoodwinked by Clay Bennett and abandoned by David Stern" ("PTI," ESPN, 5/16).
CAPITAL LOSS: Former NBA coach Phil Jackson appeared on NBC's "The Tonight Show" Thursday night to promote his upcoming book "Eleven Rings," but he also discussed reports that he may have joined the Kings' front office had the team been bought by Chris Hansen's group and moved to Seattle. Host Jay Leno asked, "Would you have taken that job?" Jackson: "I had communication with the guy that's trying to make this move. It was serious talk. I thought he was a really good guy for the league. ... I won't be doing the job in Sacramento. I like Sacramento. Well, not that much" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 5/16).