Can Sacramento get 14 NBA owners to vote against the Sacramento Kings' relocation? Because that's what it will take.
The NBA requires a simple majority vote to approve relocation. We know there will be three votes against the move -- the Lakers, the Clippers and, as Tim Kawakami reported, the Warriors, who want to prevent a San Jose franchise. (The Kings leaving Sacramento would swing S.J.'s door wide open.) The Kings need 11 more owners to reject the move, at least for next season. (There are 28 voting owners; I'm assuming the Maloofs won't be given a vote. If that's the case, Sacramento needs 15.)
Will other big-city owners like James Dolan (Knicks) and Jerry Reinsdorf (Bulls) block it to prevent more market intrusion? Maybe. What about small market teams that would prefer to avoid another big-market competitor? I'm thinking Paul Allen in Portland, Peter Holt in San Antonio, Greg Miller in Utah, Rich DeVoe in Orlando and, hell, Clay Bennett in Oklahoma City?
You add all of those up, and you're still five short. You're counting on owners who want to move (Michael Heisley), or small markets that at least understand why the Maloofs would want to leave small market (Michael Jordan, Glen Taylor). You're counting on Mikhail Prokhorov and Mark Cuban. You're counting on a whole lot of fortune, which, if you haven't been paying attention is in short order in Sacramento.
So the strategy is this: ask for a delay.
One year. The Maloofs have actually made money the past couple years, if you believe what the Maloofs tell the press. They are making money, and there's a feasibility study underway (as soon as the hostage situation the city is in ends) for a new arena. There might be a lockout. This is no time for a rash decision. Wait. Wait.
Give us a chance.
Aykis will be along shortly with contact info for as many of the owners as possible. Please urge them to delay any relocation of the Kings for a year. (A16 Note: Contact Info now in the comments.)