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Kings Have Better Chance to Succeed in Anaheim? Really?

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Our friend Randy Youngman at the OC Register had another article yesterday stating all the reasons that it makes sense for the Kings to move to Anaheim.  Namely, that by being in Anaheim, the Maloofs would be able to make more money, and thus spend more money, and the team would improve.

Let's take a look at all of Mr. Youngman's points and see if we can come to the same conclusion.  Follow me down the rabbit hole kiddos!

Youngman starts off his article with just how much the Kings suck as a team.  Why yes, the Kings did have the worst Home record and 5th worst Overall record in the NBA. So far, his research is flawless.  He’s also correct about the league low salary (which might have something to do with that league worst Home record and 5th worst record). That’s totally Sacramento’s fault though and not the fact that the owners can’t afford to lose any money whatsoever.

He lists the 2009-10 salary at $72 million, which according to ShamSports (the most reliable online source for NBA salaries) it was not, and if it was not for long. Before the Sam Dalembert trade it was at about $60 million. You might think that "Oh but Kevin Martin was adding his $11 million as well before he got traded and that's where Youngman got his $72 million right?".   Well Larry Hughes $13 million contract more than makes up for that, and that's accounted for in the $63 million number.

Youngman goes on to say

No one will dispute that reducing payroll by carrying fewer quality players on the roster reduces the chances of winning

Again, totally Sacramento’s fault and not the fact the owners can’t afford to spend money, which kind of should be a requirement of owning a NBA team.  

So do the Kings have a chance to become competitive again if they remain in Sacramento? I think we know how the Maloofs would answer that question.

Darn, yeah, we were never competitive in Sacramento, when our owners actually spent money on improving the team.

He continues the article by talking about what a Lockout could mean to the team.  Yes, a Lockout and new CBA could make Kings more competitive… here and in Anaheim, or wherever, simply because people with super deep pockets won’t be able to spend as much if there is a hard cap.

Now we get to some numbers.  Henry Samueli is personally guaranteeing $400 million in forms of improvement, tv contract, minority interest and a loan? My that seems awfully generous of him. Why ever would he do such a thing… unless he eventually wants controlling interest of the team? 

But what we're all forgetting is how much better Anaheim is than Sacramento right?

Sacramento residents won’t like to hear this, but there’s also a better chance of luring a premier free agent to Orange County than to the state capital.

Damn, did I miss something or have the LA Clippers been signing marquee free agents like crazy? I mean, they’re in LOS ANGELES and everything. Oh, and the New York Knicks and the Bulls? Didn’t they just go through a decade or more of suckitude, before the Knicks FINALLY signed a legitimate star, and the Bulls had to wait until they drafted Derrick Rose (and their last period of success started with drafting some guy named Michael Jordan?). Would LeBron have gone to Miami if Dwyane Wade (who Miami originally got via the draft) or Chris Bosh (or both) weren’t there? I think not. Players want to play with other great players, or for winning teams.

In Sacramento though, it all boils down to an arena.  Can we get an arena built?  Youngman is skeptical, as are the Maloofs, and they have a legitimate right to be.  Sacramento has not been successful at resolving this issue over the past 10 years.  But then he goes on to say that even if an arena is being built, the Maloofs might not be able to spend enough during that time to improve the team because of limited revenue streams.  Again, and I can't re-iterate this enough, if you can't afford losses on a NBA team, DON'T OWN A NBA TEAM. 

Then there is the matter of the NBA's Relocation committee, which recommended to the Maloofs last Wednesday that they stay in Sacramento.  Youngman words it thus:

What we don’t know is the real reason the NBA relocation committee told the Maloofs in a conference call this week that it doesn’t like the idea of three NBA teams in Southern California, even though Stern has said publicly it is his sense there would be enough support for another team.

Yeah, Sacramento has done nothing to improve its case (like update the NBA on arena progress, or raise approximately $10 million in NEW corporate sponsorship) and Anaheim had such a great presentation in New York (our friend Sam Amick reported that it was "awful").  No.  Its all because of the Lakers and Jerry Buss.  I don’t doubt the Lakers are involved some way, losing $500 million is a lot of scratch. But to say its solely because of the Lakers is hogwash.  

Yeah, but Phil Jackson has been extremely vocal against a Kings move, Akis!  He's suggesting that the Maloofs would be subject to NBA takeover like the MLB recently did with the Dodgers! Conspiracy!

Again, who cares what Phil Jackson is saying about the Kings move?  What does Phil Jackson’s opinion matter? Simply because he’s a famous coach?  The Lakers coach?  People ask Phil’s opinion about everything and he speaks his mind.

Youngman closes with this:

Another question that the Maloofs presumably are pondering: Is it legally defensible for the NBA to keep the Kings from moving to a market that gives them a better chance for long-term success? In 1984, San Diego Clippers owner Donald Sterling moved to L.A. without the NBA’s permission and lived to gloat about it.

Oh yeah, about Donald Sterling’s move to LA from San Diego. Yes the league lost that court case and the Clippers were allowed to stay in Los Angeles. But you also fail to mention that after that, the NBA went ahead and re-wrote their Constitution so that any future relocations would have to be approved by a majority of the Board of Governors, and this Constitution is something you have to agree to and abide by when you become a NBA owner.


So does Anaheim really offer the Kings a better chance to succeed?  You decide.  But I remember this team when it was great, and it was great in SACRAMENTO.

Here We Stay.