This is not a post for your comfort or mine, and it's not a post featuring me talking out of my own ass, as cheeky as that would be. This is also not necessarily an April Fools post, though I will be using painful puns at every opportunity (see previous sentence).
This is a post that explains my doubt that the Anaheim deal is structured solidly enough for the Kings to move after this season.
Now, this deal, as it has been presented to the public and to Kings fans, appears to have a strong chance of succeeding which means that the city of Sacramento will be without NBA basketball next season. I fully acknowledge that and I don't pretend to have any new information that could lead us to believe otherwise.
The first aspect of the deal that allows me to question it's feasibility is the time frame in which it was put together as presented to the public. It appears as though (and this may be too much credit) that the Maloofs and Samueli have only been discussing a move for about a year or so and the plan really only started to develop actual legs in December. To me, this seems really undeveloped in terms of building a solid foundation for a move. I'm not in denial, and I couldn't care less about what happens to the Maloofs if they move the team, but this deal seems lopsided greatly in favor of Anaheim. Maybe I give the Maloofs too much credit, but I think they wake up and realize that even if Anaheim is the best option for them personally at the moment, it is certainly not the best option for the Kings as a franchise, and that is vitally understated. Then again, if they are as strapped for cash as has been suggested, then business saavy can be replaced by desperation, and this deal reeks of it. I think the Maloofs lead Anaheim on, and somewhere closer to the BoG meeting, they realize what a terrible idea this is and they open themselves up to other options. They used to be successful business people, and methinks those brains don't disappear overnight. But maybe they do. I'm not counting on them waking up though.
The second aspect of this deal that raises my eyebrows is the influence of the Lakers (and their step-brother, the Clippers) on this deal. If it's true that Time Warner has a clause in the new Laker TV deal that eliminates 10% of the 3 Billion (more or less) signed for, then you can bet that Jerry Buss is going to fight tooth and nail to keep that third team out of his market. If it comes down to Buss and Sterling vs. the Maloofs and Samueli, I bet the NBA and the majority of other owners side with Buss and Sterling. Which means either the move will be barred (less likely) or the re-location fees will be too much for the Maloofs to be able to handle at this juncture (more likely as Anaheim won't be able to respond with enough 'bonds' to cover the relocation fees and I doubt they would even be willing), and the deal will fold and the Maloofs will have to wait another year to move to a different market (hopefully, by that time Sac has it's marbles together and we are breaking ground).
The third aspect of this deal is us. The fans and the citizens of Sac and the Greater Sacramento Area (and let's be honest; NorCal above the bay as a whole) can pressure the other owners and the NBA into at least encouraging the Maloofs to postpone any relocation decision until after Sacramento gets it's last hurrah. A lot of that hinges on what Mayor KJ says in the BoG meeting, and I would hope he focuses on the Kings being here instead of selling the market (for another team potentially). The market speaks for itself, with two of the five longest win streaks in NBA history with very little team success. There are a lot of owners who wish they had access to a economically thriving Sacramentan market, and if KJ focuses on the Kings being here rather than what happens after the Kings leave, I think that our HereWeStay movement becomes justified, if it isn't already.
All of this has been said before, but I figured I'd organize these points just for presentation.
On to a more personal note: If the Kings do become the Anaheim Royals, I'll be among the people laughing in 8 years once the franchise files bankruptcy or moves to a smaller market. If the Maloofs abandon Sacramento, then in my eyes they don't deserve any sympathy if they end up with a load of egg on their face (which will happen regardless if they move or not; if they stay, how do they get the city to love their presence with their team if they tried to leave and failed?)
There are many seasoned StR members who can look at the situation without or with a minimal amount of bias and determine that the move will turn out very poorly for the franchise. I agree with that assessment, but I'd also like it if we didn't have the opportunity to be proven right or wrong. Leave Anaheim to the Grizzlies (forgive the pun) and keep the Kings in Sac (and I'd eventually ask that one of the more affluent local minority owners attempt to take the controlling shares from the Maloofs).
As far as my following the NBA if the Kings DO leave, I haven't decided. I would follow the careers of the players on this team very closely, although I'm not sure I could manage that without supporting the Anaheim Royals. If I did decide to support another Western Conference team, it would be either the Blazers (Gerald Wallace) or the Rockets (Kevin Martin) that would draw my attention and fandom. I like following the careers of the players that initially developed on the Kings, as I'm sure many fans do. I'm already a slight fan of the Orlando Magic, as they have two of my favorite players (Howard and ...Arenas ...yes, I know, guilty pleasure) and a Kings alumni in Hedo.
At any rate, I'm not concerned until the papers have been signed and they are on the way to Anaheim. I just don't think it can happen over the next 3 weeks.