The Sacramento Kings closed out their season with a very emotional home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. At the time, there was a strong possibility that it was last game in Sacramento after 23 years as the team‘s owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, looked to move the franchise to Anaheim, California. The Kings broadcasters broke down on air, and fans organized a protest by refusing to leave the arena after the contest’s conclusion. Kings players returned to the court to address their adoring fans. There was great sense of empathy amongst sports fans online in seeing a team ripped away from a fan base.
Former NBA player and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, husband to controversial ex-DC school chancellor Michelle Rhee, made a last ditch attempt to save the team in California’s Capital City. His presentation to the NBA was more impressive than the Maloofs‘, the potential TV money from their deal with Anaheim being inflated. Money discrepancies are not surprising with the Maloofs since their bad financial dealings have led them to this current predicament and their financial stake in Palm Casinos Resort, which is now down to a paltry 2-percent.
Johnson was able to convince the NBA’s relocation committee to give him a chance to secure a funding plan for a new arena, and after the Maloofs pulled their bid to relocate, the Kings will remain in Sacramento for at least 2011-12.
When the move appeared imminent, I caught up with Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders and swingman Maurice Evans to ask about their personal experiences playing in Sacramento. In the video below, Saunders talks about the Sacramento Cow Bells, and Evans provides a funny antidote about a passionate Kings fan that still supports him every time he returns.
Tags: anthony peeler, chris webber, Flip Saunders, kevin garnett, latrell sprewell, minnesota timberwolves, mo evans, peja stojakovic, Sacramento Kings, Sam Cassell