NBA Kings Fans Express Discontent With Franchise Through Low Attendance
The NBA Kings currently hold a 2-8 record, their "worst start in more than 20 years,” and "discontent is a theme among fans, some of whom booed the team off the court after a recent loss,” according to a front-page piece by Kawahara & Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The Kings' average crowd at Sleep Train Arena through six homes games is 12,490, "last in the NBA and ... their lowest at this point in three seasons.” Fans offer a “host of reasons for their frustration,” one being that they find the play on the floor “uninspired.” The Kings last made the playoffs during the '05-06 season, and some fans said that they are “suffering from the cumulative effect of years of losing seasons -- with no end in sight.” Sutton & Associates Principal Bill Sutton said that besides the “subpar play, the arena drama of the past few years has undoubtedly caused some fans to stay away.” There is “lingering resentment toward the team's owners, the Maloof family.” Kawahara & Bizjak note Kings fans “worry about the dwindling crowds.” By people not coming to games, they “may simply be giving the team owners more ammunition to argue to the NBA that the franchise is no longer viable in Sacramento, and should be allowed to move” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/21).
TIME FOR A CHANGE: In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin wrote Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie “has to go, and he has to take the entire basketball operations staff with him.” If the Maloofs are “remotely interested in sustaining the Kings in Sacramento, tabling the new arena vs. renovated arena conversations at least for a few more days/months/years, they need to issue one sure, swift, franchise-shaking statement.” Voisin: “Incrementally and undeniably, both by inertia and repeated mistakes, Petrie has stripped the once-proud franchise of its passion, its identity, its collective soul. ... It was a great run while it lasted, and Petrie ran a great operation for a while. But it's over” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/20).