Guys, the Sacramento Kings are finally a big national story. This is good news and bad news but mostly bad news and oh Lord it's really bad news, isn't it? Oh god.
Sacramento Kings fans don't understand. They don't understand how their loyalty, always durable, often completely illogical given their team's laughable mismanagement, isn't powerful enough to keep their team from moving to Seattle.
The team's flagship radio station is doing everything it can: playing the John Belushi "Animal House" motivation speech on promos while the hosts exhort the fans to fight the power. It's not over 'til the moving vans arrive might sound good, but the fans have no control. They should be used to it, though, or at least jaded by the process. Those who aren't disgusted are organizing rallies and pledging money and trying to sell out the arena -- oh, how the Brothers Maloof must absolutely hate that form of punishment -- to convince the NBA board of governors how serious they are about proving to the world how much they deserve to keep their team.
There's nothing wrong with the effort. It gives them an outlet for their frustration, but that doesn't make it any less delusional. They don't matter, and they never have. They've sold out the building in 19 of the 27 seasons in Sacramento -- doesn't matter. They cheered for every Brook Steppe and Quincy Douby who wore the purple -- doesn't matter.
They didn't do anything to put their team in this position, and they can't do anything to stop it. Welcome to the big business of professional sports.
Oh, almost forgot something.
::puts on cool guy shades, struts away::
Look, brother, we don't think the power of our voices are going to change, say, Dan Gilbert's mind. I don't really understand where you got this idea that we're all naive children stamping our feet and screaming about how much we want our Kings. That's not what Kings fans have done at all. We have organized very focused, very direct campaigns to achieve very particular objectives. We want the Board of Governors to consider expansion. We want Sacramento to get a fair hearing in April. We want to show potential owners of a pro basketball team in Sacramento that the fans are on board as soon as the Maloofs are gone.
It does you nor us no favor, sir, to champion our loyalty while calling us illogical, delusional and impotent. Please do not "you're cute as a button but dumb as a rock" us, brother. We don't deserve that. We're acting like adults here. We know full well what is most likely to happen. Forgive us, kind sir, for refusing to be logical and realistic. Forgive us for refusing to go softly into that night. Illogical, delusional and powerless though we may be, we have each made a personal decision to fight in our own way, for our own reasons. Your cold assessment of our spirit serves no purpose. Honestly, what's the point? "LOL look at these sports fans being all illogical -- what a world!"
Sports fandom is and should be 100 percent illogical. Otherwise it's just observation, which sounds totally boring. We'll leave that to guys like you.
Look at that kid above this story. You want to be the one to tell him it's over? Go right ahead, Mr. Keown.
Sacramento continues to hold out hope that it can keep its basketball team. It is the hope the lead clarinetist on the HMS Titanic had when he broke out into his solo in "St. James Infirmary Blues."
Whoa, fancy reference there, guy! You can tell he cares about his craft because he called it the "HMS Titantic" and not just the "Titanic" like a hack would.
All the hopes the locals had that a miracle could be performed are essentially done, now that Bay Area deep pocket Chris Hansen, the city of Seattle and the NBA have all essentially said, "Yeah, done deal."
Except the only people who have said done deal are Seattle people and the Maloofs. The NBA has, in fact, said nothing remotely close to "done deal." This is the point of the April Board of Governors meeting.
Mayor Kevin Johnson still has a chance to plead to the NBA's Board of Governors, but his speech will really consist of three words.
"Don't do this."
Then he will extend his remarks to include, "I mean, I know you're going to, and I know our money doesn't look as good to you as Hansen's does, and I know once the Kings are gone we will never see you again, and I know you're all fine with that, but don't do this."
I know you're trying to be real cute, man, but what KJ will actually say is more like, "We have done everything that the NBA has requested over the past two years. We have put together a well-stocked ownership group who will match the Seattle offer. Our City Council has approved a deal including $255 million in public subsidy for a downtown arena. We can have it built in time for the 2016-17 season. We have sold out 19 of 28 seasons in Sacramento despite decades of impotence broken up with one period of success. We agree that Seattle deserves a team, but you cannot in good conscience punish the city of Sacramento for the failings of the Maloofs, who unlike you all could not stay afloat and are trying to stick it to us by selling out of market when Sacramento remains totally viable and competitive. We would appreciate it if you would vote to approve a sale to a Sacramento-based owner and consider granting Seattle an expansion team."
Then the Governors will vote 29-0 to let the Kings become SuperSonics again, and that'll be that.
"This is Ray Ratto from April 19, 2013, signing off."
Sacramento will be wounded by being so callously and casually rejected. It believed too much in too little for too long, and it willfully ignored the basic fact - that Commissioner David Stern gave less of a damn about the jilted market than the bigger jilted market. "David loves us," they all cried, but David never did. David said what he had to, but he never works against his own interests.
Again, we're not children. We're not naive to the fact that odds are high that the Board of Governors will approve the sale and the move and vaguely assure Sacramento that they understand our plight. We're reasonable people. We know who pays Stern's salary. We have been helplessly devoted to the weeds of NBA as business for years because of the Maloofs and their bad intentions.
But forgive us for not laying down and taking the Maloofs' final crime like shamed dogs. You want to smack us around? Expect to get some jabs back. If what you believe to be inevitable happens, so be it. We went down fighting, like we all pray our favorite teams do. If we get lucky and land the right blow, then you're damn right it was worth it.
Sportswriters: they'll kill a player who doesn't give the proverbial 110 percent, and they'll kill fans who do give 110 percent. And you want to talk to us about being illogical and delusional? Give us a damn break, guys.