Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Modest and Absurd Proposal To Solve The Kings Drama

Seattle and Sacramento: two cities who act as if staying in the National Basketball Association is a matter of life and death.
Well, it is...especially for Sacramento. Without a major pro team, it's just a mid-sized city who thought it was a major league city just like San Francisco.
For Seattle, without basketball, fans would keep seeing the Oklahoma City Thunder...where the old Sonics play now...and wonder what could have been.
Sure, it has the Mariners and Seahawks, but a new arena also means maybe the NHL in the future, along with the rebirth of the Sonics.

The NBA Board of Governors meet in a few days to maybe decide whether to allow the Maloofs to sell the Kings to developer Chris Hansen, or accept a competing bid from a Sacramento group that includes Mark Mastrov and Mark Friedman. Commissioner David Stern has said there's a chance no decision will be reached. It's not the case of a city saying "good riddance" to a team it no longer wants. It's a city who wants to stay in the NBA, and has jumped through every hoop to make it so--only to have the hoops changed to doors that open to brick walls.

Now Hansen has said he'll raise his bid by 25 million dollars. Does that mean Sacramento's bidders can't afford it anymore? Not according to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. He thinks his bid is the best, and will lead to a new future for downtown and sports in general. Maybe it won't mean Sacramento will get to the NHL, but an AHL team might work, plus the return of the NCAA basketball playoffs..and a whole lot more.

However, there is another solution that's so crazy, it definitely won't happen....
Remember when the Kings were one team serving two towns?

Between 1972 and 1975, the Kings played half their home games in Kansas City, and half in a bigger arena in Omaha. This changed when the Kemper Arena opened.
One team playing in two cities 188 miles apart. That was unusual, and still is.
So, what if the NBA decided that Sacramento and Seattle could share the Kings?
The team would be called the Sonic Kings.
Half their home games at the Key Arena in Seattle, the other half at the Sleep Train Arena at Natomas.  
One team playing in two cities, 753 miles apart. Sounds like reliving history, doesn't it?
Of course, this will never happen. For the heck of it, though, what would the logos look like?

Well, the team name has a nice ring to it.
However, there are conditions. The NBA would then demand that both cities get an arena approved and built. Whoever finishes first gets the team permanently. The loser at least has a new arena that may be attractive to the next team who wants to move. How's that for incentive?
A much better solution, of course, is that both cities get a team. With all that money being committed to staying in the NBA, why let it go to waste?
Sadly, the Board of Governors doesn't seem to be interested in expansion, maybe because one expansion team, the Vancouver Grizzlies, moved to Memphis. It may also be worried about diluting the quality of play, too.
Maybe some NBA officials want to sit back and let this bidding war go, and profit from who wins.

Never have two cities have gone so far, just to belong to a place where they both say they deserve to stay.
The NBA should just accept both bids, keeping Sacramento and reviving the Sonics.
If Anaheim objects, after it almost got the Kings, it can always try to lure the Clippers or Lakers to Disneyland. 

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