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Blogger rips the Maloofs -Let me tell you about “your business”

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Clips/Roxfan, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

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    March 29th, 2011

    by Zach Harper

    Let me start off by saying that I am not a Kings fan. I have never been a Kings fan. And certainly now, I will NEVER be a Kings fan.

    This is a fact about me that has caused some resentment and ire amongst Kings fans when I was allowed to join the TrueHoop Network and run the Sacramento Kings blog. For me, it was more of a writing exercise and trying to show you don’t need to be a fan of the team you blog about. I’ve lived in Sacramento for the majority of my life and know the Sacramento Kings fan base as well as I know any group of people.

    It was the reason I thought I could pull off this little venture. I like being tested and I certainly like trying to prove myself to a rabid fan base that often exudes more knowledge about their own team than an ownership could ever hope for.

    This doesn’t come from a bitter Kings fan, and it certainly doesn’t come from someone who is desperate to keep the Kings in this city. It comes from an outsider’s perspective who has watched this season unfold, talked to current and former employees of the team, taken the temperature of some of the smartest industry minds available, and been disgusted at this masquerade of an arena process over the last couple of years.

    The politicians in this city have just taken hold of a Howard Schultz-ian PR stunt and sent a letter to the city of Anaheim. In this letter, the camera-seeking, vote-mongering officials of this town are engaging in reverse voyeurism and asking Anaheim to not vote on the bonds or try to bring the Kings organization to Orange County. They warn of horrific harm to Sacramento’s economy if the Kings are to move down south.

    It’s as embarrassing as you’d assume it is and just a pathetic attempt to show the voters in this city that someone wants you to believe they care about your fandom. If anything, it just looks like a deleted scene from a modern reimagining of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”

    Instead of letting that just fade into the sunset of futility, Joe Maloof decided to finally make a public comment about the relocation situation and address the letter. Joe Maloof called it “below the belt” and “completely wrong.” The letter intimates that the Maloofs might not pay their loan to the city that is just over $76 million in a timely manner.

    I agree with Joe Maloof that the letter by Sacramento assistant city manager John Dangberg was uncalled for. Whether it states incorrect facts or shows unrealistic financial concerns doesn’t really matter to me. What I’m concerned about is the fact that this situation has come to this and the Maloofs have been so misleading and insensitive about the situation at hand.

    While the Maloofs don’t necessarily owe the city of Sacramento anything (other than almost $77 million of course), you would think they would have had the decency to wait through the upcoming lockout, listen to the findings and proposal of the ICON/Taylor group, and see if there can be a solution to a problem that has been lazily addressed by all parties involved in trying to get the Kings a new arena.

    When Joe Maloof fires off that, “We will continue on with our business and do what is best for the viability of the franchise – what’s best for the franchise and what’s best for the league,” it makes me wonder if “our business” factors in the millions and millions of dollars this economically torn apart community has continued to pour into the Maloofs’ fledgling business.

    Do what’s best for your franchise? I’m with you there. If they can make money for the franchise, it makes it more likely they can spend the money to keep talented difference-makers on this roster by exceeding the salary cap and luxury tax (assuming we still have these after the 2011 lockout is figured out). And by moving to the second biggest market in the U.S you give your team life in free agency it simply can’t offer in Sacramento.

    Do what’s best for the league? That’s where you lose me. What’s best for the league is putting competent owners in small market situations and proving to the average/casual fan that there is hope beyond Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. What’s best for the league is building communities all over the country and promoting the best sport in the world to a wide audience. I don’t want to disagree with your own census department, but the Los Angeles market already has two teams to do that in the Southern California community.

    What’s best for the league is becoming the next San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder.

    I get that you have a rare opportunity to capitalize on an open TV contract slot in a major market. And it’s going to be hard to pass that up when presented with the insane amount of revenue it could generate for you and your bank account. But by moving to Los Angeles/Anaheim, you’re flooding the market with a worse product for the same price. You’re essentially offering new patrons dial-up Internet but promising to charge them like it’s fiber-optic cables.

    By moving to Anaheim, you’re declaring yourselves a second-rate version of Donald Sterling and that’s exactly what you’ll become. It’s great to dream big about what you could be with a fresh new scenery filled with implants and even bigger implants, but nobody will care about your team. That market is already filled with Lakers fans and they’re not going to jump ship from their title contending “favorites” in order to follow a team that has won an embarrassing number of games the last three years.

    If they do decide to jump ship to a new team, it’s going to be the Clippers, who house arguably the most exciting player in the NBA today. You’re headed to a front-running market and to sway people to your team store, you have to either have a kick-ass building or a team that is in front of more than just the Wizards, Wolves and Cavaliers in the standings. And despite the wonderful innovations I’m sure that occurred between 1988 (when Arco was built) and 1993 (when the Honda Center was built), I very much doubt you’re headed to a kick-ass building of biblical proportions.

    You have cap space to lure free agents in a summer that will see the landscape of salary cap flexibility most definitely tighten, and a weak free agent class that will probably make mid-level exceptions to Mikki Moore seem like a defendable action. With superstars aligning with each other to promote legacy, winning and not having to try so hard to succeed, you’re going to need more than just cap space to lure free agents to Anaheim.

    Yes, you have two young players with an immense amount of raw talent. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins have proved they have all of the skills you covet in building blocks that ooze potential. They’ve also proved to foster difficult reputations around the league, whether justified or not. Perception is your biggest killer in this business because people perceive your team as talented, but ultimately going nowhere with said talent and not worth the time right now.

    But don’t take my word for it, either; ask around.

    I don’t want to tell you “your business” but by embracing the role of Donald Sterling’s understudy, you’re showing that business is your main concern. And on some level, maybe it should be. You have a great chance to make a lot of money while harboring a subpar product on the playa-adjacent parquet. You’re following Sterling’s playbook by hoping for the scraps from the big market table and watching the money roll in. It’s like owning the Clippers without having an alleged affinity for prostitution, racism or being a slumlord.

    Except, you kind have been a slumlord for the greater part of this decade. You’ve charged insane ticket prices while branding “Arco Thunder” as the reason to pony up the money. Never mind that the team hasn’t been a title contender in seven years. Up until the last two seasons (when flex pricing based on strength of schedule was the only way to keep small market teams from getting completely destroyed at the turnstile), you’ve been trying to herd the Kings’ faithful into an antiquated and dilapidated building because it’s cozy, quaint and gives you a real “experience” when the Kings play.

    I don’t want to tell you “your business” but maybe if you were willing to concede all of the perks that you’re giving up to the city of Anaheim in order to co-inhabit the Honda Center, the city of Sacramento would probably have had a better chance at giving you the palace these Kings deserved. Instead of trying to corner the market on all things parking, restaurant and panhandling in the downtown area, a mutual agreement to share these revenues would have really pushed through a lot of red tape.

    But that’s not important anymore. Much like your efforts to put a winning product on the floor the last half decade, you’ve given up on the city of Sacramento. If it were “my business” I would probably see what David Taylor and ICON can come up with in their eventual arena proposal. They have a really good track record and out of respect for the undying support this community has given you (when you’ve given them something to actually support), it would probably behoove you to not be quitters just yet.

    I don’t want to keep telling you “your business” but you’re headed to a market that just doesn’t care about you. Over the last decade, you and the league have fostered this idea of a good ole fashioned Hatfields and McCoys-level rivalry between yourselves and the fans in Southern California. They’ve been taught and conditioned to dislike you and your team or just flat-out dismiss you. This isn’t something that goes away. You want the OC market and Henry Samueli wants an NBA team in Anaheim. But who else in Anaheim wants you?

    Wouldn’t you rather be somewhere that you’re wanted?

    Sacramento Kings History, Part 3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suxl-AoNSWY&feature=player_embedded

    At the end of the day, you’re going to do what’s best for “your business” in terms of financial success. This isn’t really about basketball. It’s just about making money, and that’s your right as a business owner. Do what’s best for the bottom line. But don’t pretend like the people of Sacramento haven’t carried you as a silent (but also screaming) partner over the past 13 years.

    The only thing left for this city is a last ditch effort that will be ignored, unless the NBA realizes what a horrible message they’re sending by potentially allowing this relocation. It’s hard enough generating interest in a second LA team, and branding yourself as the Anaheim Royals doesn’t change the awkwardness and misguided nature of the ménage-a-franchise that the greater Los Angeles area is about invite into bed.

    Joe Maloof, this past summer you told me that I had written the single best take on the franchise you had ever read in your time owning the team. And while I doubt anybody will view this current diatribe as anything close to the best take on the team they’ve ever read, I ask that you just give it its just due. There is quite a bit of name-calling here but there is also quite a bit of truth.

    Again, this doesn’t affect me the way you would assume it would affect a Kings blogger. By the end of the year, I’ll be living in a different part of the country and enjoying seeing my favorite team in person every night they play. This is a luxury I want for the people of Sacramento well beyond these final 16 days of this regular season.

    You’re not turning your back on me by tucking your financial tail between your legs and hightailing it out of Sacramento. You’re turning your back on your true fans and the people that have given you “your business.”

    http://www.cowbellkingdom.com/2011/03/29/let-me-tell-you-about-your-business/
     
  2. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't find his reasons why the move to Anaheim is a bad idea to be very compelling.
     
  3. MemphisX

    MemphisX Contributing Member

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    Another whine blog in an attempt to get some publicity. A very naive writing attempt at that...
     
  4. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    I tend to agree with the article though. I don't really have a problem with the Maloofs moving the team - it's their team. But to Anaheim? That's kind of nuts.
     
  5. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    May I ask what in particular? From a sporting interest perspective this makes no sense.

    If you're going to move a team, move it to a place that doesn't already have firm allegiances. I wouldn't move the 76er's to Queens or the Indians to a Chicago suburb.

    Being the 3rd wheel (in basketball) in the LA market would probably lead to low fan support --> low attendance anyway. At least the Sonics moved into city starving for any pro-team to support.

    It does sound like a Sterling-type move to me: sketchy business motives but outright bad sporting motives.
     
  6. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    I feel bad for Sacramento, unlike Seattle, this is their only major sports team. They supported this team despite it's shortcomings, as for the brass, c'mon now this is getting ridiculous. The Kings have moved several times already, and now they're moving again. I understand moving to a bigger market, but don't move to a bigger market that's already being occupied! It's one thing for the Nets to move from NJ to Brooklyn, because by being in NJ they were already in NY's market, now they're just taking a bigger share, but there is no reason the Kings should move to Anaheim.
     
  7. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Well, I think they'd be the 2nd wheel in front of that pitiful Clippers organization. Only masochists could root for the Clippers when there is another Laker-alternative around. Besides, I think regional loyalties will still deliver share (If Katy had their own team, I'm sure there would be plenty of Houston suburbanites that would switch/share allegiances).

    Besides that, fandom is mostly fair-weather, especially in LA. When the Kings are good, they'll gain fans. And there will be times when the Kings (uh, Royals) are good and the Lakers are bad. The Clippers will always be bad. He spends a lot of time focusing on the particular players and current competitiveness. That's all variable. They might suck next season, but they'll get good eventually. And, sooner or later Blake Griffin will leave the Clippers.
     
  8. Steve_Francis_rules

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    I would be willing to bet a lot of money against this. The Lakers have great ownership, great management, and they're the league office's favorite franchise. They've been "bad" (as in, missed the playoffs) only two seasons since the mid-1970s and only five times in league history. The Kings, on the other hand, only had one short stretch of being a good team going all the way back to the early 1980s.
     
  9. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    A non Kings fan running a Kings blog? Sac-town's Jerome Solomon?
     
  10. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    I maintain they should move to Louisville... arena already built

    Insane basketball fans (some of whom are Boogie fans) so you have a built in fan base

    and it would give me another Rockets game within driving distance.

    I'm not at all biased though ;)
     
  11. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

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    bring them down here thats another two more potential rockets games for me to go to
     
  12. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    I'll admit, moving there makes more sense to me the other places I've heard about such as Las Vegas or going back to Seattle. There would naturally be concerns about how well professional basketball would be followed given the popularity of UK ( and the Bobcats have not set a good precedent), but I think it would have a greater chance of success compared to other places.
     
  13. LandryMegaBeast

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    too long did not read
     
  14. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    Good idea. There might even be some residual Kansas City fans left in the Midwest area.
     
  15. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    The key would be utilizing that UK popularity
     
  16. roslolian

    roslolian Member

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    Seriously? I thought it was pretty well written and thought out, and I liked the fact that he portrayed himself as more of an outsider than an ardent King's fan.

    He didn't beat the reader over the head over it but he stated several reasons why the Maloofs moving would be a bad idea: sends the wrong message, betrays the loyal Sacto fans, and most importanly he'll become LA's 3rd wheel. He also has a point, I'm not sure why fans will go watch the Anaheim royals when they already have the Clips and of course the Lakers. Then again the Clips have been profitable for years even when they had only 4 fans pre-griffin, so maybe having "real" fans don't really matter when you have all these cool cats shelling bucks just to be seen at games.
     
  17. Pieman2005

    Pieman2005 Member

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    For real.. he sounds kind of like a douche.. He grew up in Sac and NEVER liked them? :confused: Sounds like he rode the Lakers jockstrap
     
  18. Shaud

    Shaud Member

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    Speaking of the Kings how long has Bill Walton been an analyst for Sacramento?

    I'm watching the game tonight and Bill has been annoying as hell.
     
  19. lean

    lean Member

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    They should move to Seattle, that city deserves an NBA team.
     
  20. deekay209

    deekay209 Contributing Member

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