Anybody know where to send a letter to the NBA and, specifically, their commissioner? Below are my thoughts, in letter form, and hopefully in a tone and language that could be heard.
Dear Commissioner Stern,
I am writing to address a grievance with the NBA. This grievance is chiefly against the current ownership of the Sacramento Kings, but is directed for your attention as it relates to the viability of the current ownership, the Maloofs. To clarify my point and better state the issue, this letter is not about the viability of the Sacramento Kings as a franchise.
My concern is in how the Sacramento Kings and its current issues will be presented to you and to the NBA Board of Governors at your April 14th meeting. Recently, Joe Maloof made a statement in the media about moving to Anaheim that is cause for concern and which indicates dishonesty on the part of the Maloofs. He stated that, "We (the Maloofs) will continue on with our business and do what is best for the viability of the franchise – what's best for the franchise and what's best for the league."
Sir, that franchise remains strong, financially sound, and deeply rooted in Sacramento. The fan base in Sacramento knows no rival. The fervent and fearless support of cow bell ringing fans is famous. There is strong and growing support for a new arena. Fans have taken a direct hand in this process once we realized that the Maloofs were not committed to building a new arena.
The Maloofs never stated that if an arena could not be built by a certain date that they would be taking the team elsewhere. They consistently reassured fans of their intent to stay and build an arena. They did this while quietly and secretly negotiating to move the team. The outspoken commitments by the Maloofs to stay and their covert actions to move are remarkable in their deceitfulness and dishonesty. We fans have now realized the danger, banded together, and are raising funds and support for the new arena. We are trying to keep this team in Sacramento, but many fear that it is too late.
Many of us are looking into why the team is moving and found serious and fundamental problems. There has been mounting evidence that the Maloofs may no longer be viable owners of the Kings. The recent news on their state of finances is disturbing, this includes selling their beer distributorship, defaulting of the Palms loan, and potentially defaulting on the City of Sacramento. They own a large part of Wells Fargo, a major mortgage lender, which is still reeling from the crash in property values.
The move to Anaheim is not necessary and seems to be an attempt by the Maloofs to protect their own financial viability and not the viability of the Kings franchise or benefit the NBA. It seems that the Maloofs will protect their financial interests to the detriment of the franchise and NBA.
It seems clear that the Maloofs will state, to the NBA Governors, that moving is necessary to protect the viability of their franchise. This is just not true. The Maloofs may no longer have the means to own the Kings. Their lack of resources and inability to remain owners should not force the Kings to move. Other ownership should be sought in Sacramento before such drastic measures are taken.
I think the upcoming meeting on April 14th would be a fair opportunity to point out that the Kings franchise is not losing money, that there is (finally) growing momentum to build an arena, and that moving the team is not needed to protect this franchise. I think a fair question that should be asked is if the Maloofs can remain owners of the team without a move.
The Sacramento Kings need owners who have the means to support more than minimum payroll and that can keep the team in Sacramento. Moving into a larger and already saturated market doesn’t benefit the NBA or the Kings and will hurt the teams already in that market. It will likely allow the Maloof to net more money at the expense of the other teams and shrinks the total NBA market.
The Board of Governors should not accept any argument that this move is about protecting the viability of the Sacramento Kings or that it benefits the NBA. They should not allow this move amid secret negotiations or allow the Maloofs to default on the City of Sacramento. The Maloofs should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the whole NBA and damage others owners and franchises, even if it is the Lakers.
We fans will say our farewells to the Maloof should they leave Sacramento, but that move should not be with the Kings in tow. If they no longer have the means to support the team in Sacramento then the NBA should be soliciting new owners for this team. Here in Sacramento.
A fan in Sacramento