Last week, public relations super wizard David Stern took the first real jab at the NBPA over collective bargaining negotiations next summer by threatening contraction, actually getting rid of teams, if NBA salaries aren’t cut by 33% ($800 million) in the new collective bargaining agreement. One team it’s not looking good for is the Sacramento Kings.
Recently, yet another arena proposal that was looking promising fell through in Sacramento. David Stern has been working hard with the Maloofs and the city of Sacramento for years on a new arena and this may be the final straw. Stern officially gave the Maloofs the ‘OK’ to relocate the team if they want. Although the Maloofs have always denied any desire to move the team, if they can’t make money in the current arena even during sellouts, what’s there to do. This issue prompted me to watch Sonicsgate again, a free online documentary on the events leading to the Sonics leaving for Oklahoma City, and the similarities are eerie. For the Kings to avoid contraction or relocation, they need quick results in on-court performance as well as local investors and developers getting an arena deal done now. Losing to the Nets last night was not a good start, and having former Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson as mayor of the city is not as much help as anticipated. The Maloofs have until February of 2011 to decide if they want to relocate for the 2011-12 season.