Kings Stay! Kings Stay!

According to multiple sources this morning, the Maloof family has decided to give Sacramento at least one more year. Here is the official SACRAMENTO KINGS press release.

 


Maloof Sports and Entertainment Statement


SACRAMENTO, CA, May 02, 2011 — “Out of respect to Kings fans and the regional business community, we have decided to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 season. The fans’ spirit and energy, specifically our season ticket holders, has been remarkable and we are truly thankful for their loyalty. We also are greatly appreciative of the support from our corporate sponsors as well as other local businesses that have come forward in recent weeks.

Additionally, we would like to take this opportunity to send a heartfelt thank you to the loyal and hardworking team members within our organization. From the game night staff to the front office, coaches, and players, we are grateful for their professionalism and devotion.

During this process, Mayor Johnson has strongly indicated to both the community and the NBA that he is capable of getting the support to build a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports facility that the Sacramento Region and the tremendous Kings fans so rightly deserve. We look forward to seeing Mayor Johnson bring his vision to reality. However, if an arena plan cannot be finalized in a timely fashion, the NBA¹s relocation committee has assured Maloof Sports and Entertainment that it will support an application to move the franchise to another market starting in 2012-13.”

 

Time to celebrate Kings fans.  More than two weeks ago, the Sacramento Kings regular season came to a conclusion with an emotional overtime loss to the Lakers. The building formally known as Arco Arena was rocking for more than an hour after the final horn as fans, players, coaches, employees and members of the media said heartfelt good-byes to a building that had seen more than its fair share of big moments.  All seemed lost as the following day Joe and Gavin Maloof walked into the NBA Board of Governors meetings intent on relocating the Sacramento Kings to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

But that is not the end of this story. Out of respect for ex-NBA player turned Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, the BOG let Sacramento plead its case. And plead KJ did, dropping over $7 million in new corporate sponsorships onto the table, unleashing stadium building guru Tim Romani on the BOG and topping off the day with the name Ron Burkle. The NBA took notice, the Maloof’s stormed out angry and confused and another extension was granted.

Today is decision day.  It could have come last week when the NBA relocation committee made a suggestion to the Maloof family that they would not be supported in an attempt to relocate the Kings, but that’s ok. Better late than never as the saying goes. Today the Sacramento Kings remain the Sacramento Kings. Send out thank you cards to Mayor Johnson, Here We Stay, Here We Build, Clay Bennett and those 30 businesses who pledged over $10 million in new corporate sponsorships – because of them, there will be a summer and draft picks and training camp.  DeMarcus Cousins will return for his sophomore season, Tyreke should be healthier and hopefully Marcus Thornton will be resigned after an impressive 27 game tryout.

So celebrate Kings fans.  Wear a jersey or a purple shirt.   Hug your kids and swear you’ll take them to a game next season and then rest up.  The real work starts tomorrow.  You have earned a reprieve, a one season stay of execution, but now it is time to pull together, put your fighting spirit behind an effort to build a new sports and entertainment facility in Sacramento.  If you can pull off that feat, the team is yours.   If not, this all starts again in February, but this time, David Stern and his Board of Governors won’t have your back.

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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.