This last week or two has definately sucked for Kings fans. And while we are used to our plight as the best fans with the worst team (and now worst owners), it never gets easier. I went through the first stage of denial, and all the "this can't be happening" bullshit, and now I am finally accepting the situation for what it is, and hoping for better days. And while I wait... I am trying to rationalize a possible outcome.
Here's what I see....
It's been well documented here, and in the national media, that the Maloofs aren't doing to well financially. They have seen better days, and their recent financial woes can be reflected in the product on the floor (to which I previously tried to justify to myself as a byproduct of the rebuilding stage, why spend millions on a few free agents when your core pieces are still in development and in no position to contend). So ya, they are broke, and need money, but (as a recent post pointed out) selling the team now doesn't make sense because selling only nets each members of the family $10m-$20m a piece, and they are left with no main asset to rebuild from.
So if selling doesn't make sense (I agree that it doesnt and dont blame them for not wanting to) that must mean they will be forced to relocate again next year in search of the $$, right? Here is where I have trouble. I can't see them relocating anytime soon, especially what Sacramento has shown the NBA. The league asked Sacramento to step up, or the team will be gone... and we did. It's not our fault they aren't in financial position to accept a perfectly legit deal. So now we as fans want to know, well how long did our support buy us?
I think it bought us a lot of time (at least a couple of years?), and I think we should still support this team even though we have shitty broke owners. I don't think we should be worried, and I don't think they are going to try to move anytime soon (pray to god I'm finally right about something). If the Maloofs try to move after next season, after what the fans and Sacramento have done. I personally don't see it getting the votes from the league. I dont see how the owners and NBA can justify voting yes, after all this. The small markets in the NBA would lose all credibility, and the media would give them a black eye (they should).
So if the owners shoot them down, would they send these newly hired anti trust lawyers into battle? I think they are here just for show, and just to scare everyone, and to say "we mean business." There's no way the Maloofs can afford to get into a legal battle with the NBA, and they can't afford to guess wrong about the outcome of the lawsuit. "No we can't afford to spend $3.5m on predevelopment, but we're ok spending a lot more than that on legal fees to move"... ya that'll look good. And say by some grace of god they do get shot down by the league, sue, spend a bunch of money and win... then what? Then they are in worse shape financially then they were here, and they have now removed Donald Sterling as the most villafied owner in the NBA. Frankly that just isnt their MO. They like being the face of the team, they like being at the games... they are (were) casino owners, it's all about pushing their nice guy image, they are "good boys". If this was some behind the scenes type of owner I could see it happening, but they like the limelight too much to be hated like Donald Sterling.
It makes sense (to me) to stay here and reap the benefits of the new revenue sharing system for small markets and slowly rebuild the empire and eventually build the arena, opposed to limp/crawl to OC next year broke and hated by the NBA, and all of its owners, for this entire ordeal. That won't make for fun BoG meetings.
So ya, it sucks balls that we have no arena deal... but I still think we have our team for a while. And hopefully they can figure out their finances and this arena in the meantime.... if they havent burned the bridges past the point of no repair.