Why I won't begrudge Seattle if the Kings end up moving

Ronald Martinez

Seattle could very well win the battle over the Sacramento Kings. I hope they don't, but I won't be angry at the city's fans if it happens.

At this point, with expansion apparently off the table, it's a zero-sum game: Sacramento will have a team next year, or Seattle will have a team next year. If we win, Seattle loses. If Seattle wins, we lose. That creates an adversarial relationship, a real partisan situation. It makes us make the leap that if you root for the rebirth of the Sonics, you root against Sacramento. And I don't think that's true. I think it's possible for those in and from Seattle to want the Sonics back without explicitly wanting Sacramento to lose the Kings. I don't think the mere desire for the Sonics makes anyone in Seattle a hypocrite. There are certain statements that might make one a hypocrite, but the hurdle is not, in my opinion, cleared just through excitement for the return of NBA basketball to the city.

It's a struggle to not hate Seattle right now for me. The Kings mean so much to all of us. Their pleasure happens alongside our disgust. It's hard. But in the end, I can't begrudge them happiness. It doesn't matter that Seattle has baseball, football, college sports and pro soccer. Not all sports are created equal. It doesn't matter that Sacramento has done everything it should need to do to keep its team. Seattle doesn't write the rules of fairness. It doesn't matter that Sacramento will be left without a single pro sports team. That's not Seattle's fault. It doesn't matter that some Seattle trolls have tried to make life less enjoyable for us. There are trolls from every city, every fan base. There is no monopoly on that market.

When most Seattle fans say they wish there were another path to getting a team, I believe them. The circumstances are unfortunate, but they are at this point unavoidable. The people of Seattle should not have begrudged the people of Oklahoma City -- and for the most part, they did not. As a Sacramentan, I won't begrudge the people of Seattle, if this happens.

Who will I begrudge? The Maloofs, of course. The NBA's arena subsidy regime. The Fates. Mostly the Maloofs. Chris Hansen isn't screwing Sacramento. The people of Seattle aren't screwing Sacramento. David Stern isn't screwing Sacramento. The Maloofs screwed Sacramento. So many times, in so many ways. And either way, they'll be rewarded. And you're damn right that I'll begrudge them that reward. Every day, forever.

All this said, Sacramento still has a good chance over the next two months, and I would hope that if we are successful in keeping the Kings, that Seattle does not begrudge us.

***

(I do, by the way, see and to a point understand some of the lingering hope for expansion after the Saturday comments from Stern and Silver. I'm just not confident that the owners as a group are willing to make that plunge without heavy advocacy from staff. I'm not convinced that Stern or Silver are prepared to advocate for expansion given their comments. They may be open to it behind the smoke, but I think it'd take more than mere openness to get it done.)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker