Kings vs. Sonics: Leave your scorecard at home

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This is not the NCAA Tournament selection process or a boxing match. The NBA Board of Governors is not going to decide between saving the Sacramento Kings and reintroducing the Seattle SuperSonics based on points.

I like Sonics Rising, particularly the site's chief editor, Brian Robinson. This is not lip service: Brian wrote the modern book on fan activism for teams threatening relocation. (Blake, Ed, Kevin, Akis, James, Tobin, Dave, Mike and to a much smaller extent I have added plenty of new chapters.)

There are a few things I take issue with. Some of the commenters are ... yeesh. (I know some of our commenters -- some of y'all -- are yeesh, too. Don't take it personally.) The occasional boosterism joined with dismissal of our own boosterism is just kinda funny, if unfortunate. I am, frankly, totally uncomfortable about any and all mentions about Seattle "bringing back its Sonics." Unless Harry Potter is up there transfiguring Tyreke into Durant and Isaiah into Westbrook, these are not your Sonics. These are the Sacramento Kings. You are bringing the Sacramento Kings to Seattle and dubbing them the Seattle SuperSonics, if all goes according to Chris Hansen's plan. Again, unless you possess magical abilities.

But as I said, I like Sonics Rising on the whole. In the aggregate, Sonics Rising is a lot like Sactown Royalty, just without the unbearable good looks of section214. If the circumstances of birth were changed, I could see myself as a Seattle resident refreshing Sonics Rising 10 times a day instead of writing for StR.

That said ... I'm not on board with this treatment of the situation. The good sir Paul Rogers tries to 'scorecard' the situation, as if it has any relevance to what will actually happen. Read it for yourself, but Rogers scores points for Seattle on ownership group, bid, market and arena, scores one for Sacramento in relationship with the NBA and gives a draw in fans.

Let me retort.

Yes, Seattle has more wealth in its ownership group than does Sacramento. But the implication that Burkle is not a real owner because his name's not out front is silly. He's in the exact same position as Steve Ballmer! In any event, we're talking about billions of dollars in wealth involved on both sides. Can you imagine any NBA owner sitting down and comparing net worths to decide this issue? The team will be extremely well-funded in either case. End of story.

Yes, Seattle's initial bid was higher than that of Sacramento. Then David Stern told everyone about that, and Mastrov committed to raising his bid to Seattle's level. The bids will be roughly equal. The NBA owners voting on this won't see a dime of that anyways -- a higher valuation just improves the value of their own teams. But again, now that Stern has said something and Mastrov has committed to raising it, it's moot.

Yes, Sacramento does have a stronger relationship with the NBA. But it's not like the Seattle group is a bunch of Johnny Come Latelies. I tend to believe that Sacramento's relationship with David Stern and the NBA has helped get the city to this point. Going forward, with both bids on the table, I'm not sure that's going to matter much.

Yes, both cities have passionate fan bases. Again, Sacramento's fans have helped the city get to this point.

If the Sacramento City Council approves a term sheet on March 26 as expected, I do not believe that Seattle has any arena advantage. (Stern noted that Seattle's arena is not a done deal just weeks ago.) State of the art arenas in key neighborhoods funded partially by the public with strong private backing. Granted, only one of them will have a giant flan ... but this is a moot point.


There is no scorecard. This is going to be about whether the owners feel it's more important to keep the one-team Sacramento market in the NBA for the next 30 years, or whether they feel it's more important to get Seattle back in the mix immediately. It's going to be about whether the owners want to reinforce their right to sell to whomever they please in whatever city they choose, or whether they believe cities should be given a legitimate chance to bid for their teams. It's going to be, quite possibly, about how many arms each side can twist, how Stern frames it and how amenable to near-future expansion the owners are.

But it's almost assuredly not going to come down to a scorecard on the most basic facts.

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