Sacramento Kings Really Playing Up the Jimmer Fredette Angle, as Expected

Most people figured that the team that drafted Jimmer Fredette was doing so for marketing purposes more than anything else. Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld put it perfectly on twitter saying “When owners see Jimmer, they see a big-name player who generates interest and money. When management sees him, they see a tough transition.” Keeping that in mind, and recognizing that Jimmer is the biggest name in the draft, the team in arguably the worst financial situation in the NBA decided to select him. And like Patrick Crawley pointed out in his draft recap (which you should definitely check out), the Kings are already playing up the Jimmer angle as much as you could expect. Check out the splash page they created specifically to promote him:

This really shouldn’t surprise us when you look at Sacramento’s financial situation. They need to sell tickets to raise money so they can keep the franchise in Sacramento. The question is if drafting Jimmer will help them do that. Sure he’s a recognizable name who fans may want to see, but if he’s not that good, how long will that last? Generally fans want to see a winner rather than an exciting player on a bad team (unless it’s Blake Griffin). If Jimmer proves to be a bust, then this will be viewed as a quick fix that didn’t work out.

By comparison, other teams marketed their newcomers fairly equally. The Utah Jazz featured both their top two picks on their website. The same is true of the Bobcats. Even the Cavaliers featured both of their top two guys on their website. Here are all the other splash pages for comparison:

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Chris Webber and Filipino Manny V. Pangilinan Could Team up to Buy Kings

Though it appeared to be a certainty that the Kings would move from Sacramento to Anaheim, the city was awarded an extra year to hold onto the team. There was a check list of items the NBA advised the city to fulfill in order to keep the franchise long-term, and the most important requirement was to build a new arena. It will be difficult for the cash-strapped current owners, the Maloofs, to hang on to the team, so there is room for new ownership. One potential group of owners is led by Chris Webber and would be backed by Filipino businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, according to the Inquirer.

The Inquirer, which is a Filipino news source, says “Webber met with Pangilinan, chair of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company—among other firms—during a recent trip to Sacramento, where he visited the Kings’ home stadium, the Arco Arena.”

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Sacramento Kings Announcers Grant and Jerry Tear Up at End of Telecast (Video)

We’ve already talked about how the Kings-Lakers game on Wednesday night in Sacramento was one of the saddest moments of the NBA season. Landon Donovan was one of the people who thought it was a joke that the Kings were moving until he realized how truly sad it was to see such a great sports town lose its beloved (and only) team. We’ve covered the story previously at LBS and gave you the heartfelt perspective from a lifelong Kings fan. We can tell you as much as we want how devastating it is for Sacramento to lose the Kings, but nothing conveys the touching emotion quite like this video of the team’s TV announcers, Jerry Reynolds and Grant Napear, signing off Wednesday evening:

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Kevin Johnson Encourages Sacramento Kings Fans to Move on

Former Phoenix Suns All-Star point guard Kevin Johnson is now the mayor Sacramento, his hometown city. He’s been trying to help the city keep its beloved basketball team, but the Kings moving seems inevitable. Last week we wrote about the Kings filing patents for exclusive rights to the names Los Angeles Royals and Anaheim Royals. That seemed to be a clear sign the Kings were leaving, and a blog post by KJ on Tuesday night echoed that statement.

Towards the end of his post, KJ wrote “First things first, we’ll fight to protect taxpayers and the city. That means making sure the Kings fully pay off their loan.” He added, “Then, we plan for the future” and he began to talk about the city possibly building a new arena to attract a future team. He capped it all off writing “The slow death is almost over. It’s painful. But a new beginning is right around the corner.”

I would encourage you to read the entire post if you’re a Kings fan but you may not like the message. Recognizing the team may be moving on and that you can’t do anything about it is difficult, but like KJ says, Kings fans can take the high road in the situation.

Sacramento Kings Could Become Los Angeles Royals or Anaheim Royals

If the Sacramento Kings leave their current city for Anaheim, they will likely change their team’s name to the Royals, we have learned. The issue of the Kings moving has been a touchy subject here at LBS. We’ve posted criticisms of their current ownerss and joked about how many places they’ve moved. The threat of the team leaving for Anaheim is a legitimate one, and the Maloofs have until April 18th to inform the NBA of their plans.

If the team does leave for Southern California and move to Anaheim, there would be competition and confusion because Los Angeles already has a hockey team called the Kings. News 10 in Sacramento discovered that the Kings filed applications for patents and trademarks on March 3rd for exclusive rights to the “Los Angeles Royals” name and the “Anaheim Royals” name. They also registered the domain name losangelesroyals.com.

Such a rebranding of the team would make sense for two reasons should they move to Anaheim. One, like we said, LA already has a Kings franchise. Two, before moving to Sacramento, the franchise was originally named the Rochester Royals and later the Cincinnati Royals — so there are historical ties to the name. It’s possible the Kings are just taking steps to ensure a smooth transition should they move, but this seems to be a pretty strong indication that they may be moving to Anaheim.

Will Sacramento Kings Become Latest Pro Team to Skip Town?

You hear that sound of tires peeling out? Just call it the Kings’ screech. This confusing picture involving two cities and an NBA team is not likely to win any awards anytime soon. Sacramento is currently embroiled in a media feeding-frenzy the likes of which have not been seen since that schmo John Sutter started panning for gold (or at least since Gray Davis was given his second technical from the California electorate). The question is, will the team that allegedly plays basketball in Sacramento become yet another entity to make the pilgrimage out of the Capitol City or will they stick around like the folks during the Gold Rush who tried to make their living in the riverbeds during the mid-19th century (just throwing it out there that John Salmons did not swim upstream while playing for the Kings)?

The City of Anaheim is home to the happiest place on Earth (no, not the Department of Motor Vehicles). It is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, but it does not have Sacramento’s list of nicknames, which includes “City of Trees” (please see Quincy Douby). However, the city has had a less-than-stellar reputation with respect to sports teams. A World Football League team, the Southern California Sun, came and went (perhaps the orange and magenta hues turned people off?). So did the Arena Football League. Lacrosse went bust (the team had no shot, but was owned by Jayson Williams, so go figure). Teams have been abandoning the city for years, too.

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Sacramento Kings May be Moving, and Heartless Maloofs Don’t Seem to Mind

The Sacramento Kings filed a request for an extension with the NBA for its March 1st deadline involving teams wanting to relocate. This action by the Maloofs confirms the worst fears of every Sacramento kings fan since the owners took over the organization in 1999 — that they were going to move the team. Kings fans always thought the celebrity-driven Maloof brothers would jump at the first chance to move the team to a bigger market, and despite all of the messages, talk, and actions, Sacramento fans seem to have had their team and hearts ripped from them by two cold businessmen who tried to be one with the people.

Sacramento Kings fans were very cautious of the Maloofs because they thought the family would move the franchise to a bigger market. However, when the Maloofs took over, they promised not only to keep the team in Sacramento, but to make Sacramento an elite NBA city. That did happen for a while, and the fans forgot about their previous fear. It showed that perhaps the Maloofs really were one of us. Then the Maloofs began lobbying for the city to pay for a new arena that would make the Maloofs richer, but not necessarily make the team better. Kings fans started to worry when the Maloofs started working on their public image. The 2006 Carl’s Jr commercial where they were seen enjoying $6,000 bottles of wine with their burgers put the fear back in Kings fans’ heads.

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