According to multiple sources the Maloof Family has sold 65% of the Sacramento Kings franchise to a group of Seattle area investors led by Chris Hansen and Mircosoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The franchise under this agreement will also be moved to Seattle Washington to become the Sonics. Now I know it's bad when A team moves and as a fan of most professional sports I usually do not like owners who re-locate their team. In my opinion their all greedy, very selfish, and do not deserve a championship of any type. Most of them re-locate their team after they promise the previous owner never to move them and take the teams history with them. But Chris Hansen's group is different, they aren't taking the King's name or their winnings with them, nor are they lying about any promise not to move the team. Unlike a few other professional sports team owners I know hints the names Bob Irsay, Clay Bennett, Walter O'Malley, Art Modell, and oh my favorite Fred Zollner. As A Pacers fan who grew up with the Sonics in Seattle and Kings in Sacramento, I would have much rather seen Hansen's group buy and move the stolen Pistons and their convict fans, but by the same token I know David Stern would never let that happen.
The Question now becomes who's to blame for the King's re-location. Is it Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer for buying the Kings after they lost their team and were told by David Stern that they could not have an expansion team. Even after the documentary titled Sonicsgate showed a season ticket holder crying at the end of the film saying the worst part about the Sonics move to OKC as the Thunder was that he now has to take someone else's team. The Kings may have been the only team Hansen could buy, the Bucks owner is still alive and would never sell his team, the Grizzlies, Bobcats, and Hornets all play in an arena too new for them to re-locate, and we all know David Stern would never let a big market team re-locate to a destination more then 20 minutes from their previous one.
Or do you blame Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento government for not building the Kings a new arena. I know last I checked the city of Sacramento had a few plans to build a new arena fall through. Plus the Kings do currently have the lowest attendance in the NBA according to ESPN.com. Low attendance for sporting events is often caused by a bad economy.
Or maybe the Blame goes on the Maloof family for selling the Kings for 30 billion knowing the franchise would move. All the Maloof's had to do to keep the team in Sacramento was tell Chris Hansen if re-located the team was not for sale. Herb & Mel Simon told Canuck's owner Francisco Aquilini the Pacers if re-located were not for sale after he offered tremendous amounts of money to buy the team and move them to Vancouver.
Or maybe the blame goes on my personal favorite David Stern. David Stern in my opinion is by far the worst commissioner for anything to ever live. All he ever seems to care about is pleasing the NBA players who as a majority only care about winning a championship for a big market team like the Lakers, no hard salary cap or franchise/transition tag, and guaranteed contracts. As a result the NBA is a corporate culture fantasy land where big market teams like the Lakers benefit from unfair trades only they can get away with because their a big market team and the free agent market. And small market teams like the Kings suffer and loose lots of their talent to the bigger markets causing them to fall into a slump of multiple losing records and low attendance. Eventually causing them to re-locate if their arena is over 25 years old.
Just look what has happened when the big market teams have made unfair trades only they can get away with because the NBA is a corporate culture fantasy land. Shortly after the Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Shannon Brown, Trevor Ariza, and Ray Allen trades to the Celtics and Lakers from other small market teams causing both teams to combine for five conference titles and 2 NBA championships in three years happened Clay Bennett moved the Sonics to OKC. Shortly after the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard from the Magic, CP3 was acquired to the Clippers from the Hornets, and Lebron James won his first ever NBA championship in his second season with the Heat after playing 7 years for the team that drafted him in the Cavs the Nets and Kings choose to re-locate. And I know not many unfair trades happened when the Grizzlies and Hornets re-located, but the Lakers did start their dynasty of being the team of this past decade. And when the Lakers won their championships their star players were pretty much Kobe Bryant and or Shaq. In 1996, Shaq choose the Lakers over the Magic for a slightly bigger pay check and more importantly a terrible career in acting and the same year the Lakers traded up in the draft for Kobe Bryant. The Kobe Bryant trade is considered by many to be the worst trade in NBA history.
Plus Stern makes terrible decisions for his staff such as awarding Clay Bennett the position of NBA moving chair after he promised the city of Seattle and Howard Schultz (the person who sold him the team) he would never move the Sonics after purchasing them in 2006. 2 years later moving the team and taking all their history aside from their name with him to OKC stating that when he bought the team his plan all along was to move them.
Plus Stern knows that if he would have either allowed the cities of OKC and either Kansas City, St Louis, or Vancouver an expansion team in 2008 neither the Sonics nor the Kings would have moved. Of if Stern would have allowed the cities of Seattle and either Kansas City, St Louis, or Vancouver an expansion team in 2013 the Kings wouldn't have moved. But unfortunately for the city of Sacramento, if the city of Kansas City who next to the cities of Seattle and Brooklyn has the newest arena for an NBA team were to get and expansion team. They would likely try to and could be successful at buying the Kings name from the Maloofs. And 32 teams in the NBA would likely mean 2 conferences with 8 divisions 4 in each conference.
Or maybe the blame for this move falls on the small market owners and the players union. The small market owners had their chance to stand up to the players union and threaten to lockout the NBA for a few seasons to get a hard salary cap, contracts guaranteed for less time, and some type of franchise or transition tag. And they blew it. But then again on the other hand the NBA may not be a corporate culture fantasy land if the players union hadn't demanded what they did in the 2011 lockout.