Kings may not have NBA votes for Anaheim move

Pretty much everything we’re hearing about the Sacramento Kings‘ attempted move to Anaheim these days is at the level of rumor; that said, this is certainly an interesting one: KFBK’s Rob McAllister reports that “those close to the negotiations” say Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof “are not sure they have enough support from the rest of the league’s owners to approve the move.” Which wouldn’t be a total surprise, given that the precedent of allowing a minimal territorial rights payment for incursions into a team’s existing territory is likely to freak out more than a couple of owners, but it is the first we’re hearing of this, even as an unsourced news item.

Other tidbits in the KFBK story:

  • Honda Center officials “would not confirm” whether arena owner Henry Samueli had signed off on the 200-page arena lease that the Maloofs have presented to him.
  • The Kings have tapped a $75 million line of credit from the NBA to help meet expenses, though it’s unclear how much of the money they’ve used so far, and there’s no source at all given for this item.

All four Maloof brothers are expected to make their relocation pitch to the NBA owners’ meetings tomorrow and Friday, with a vote presumably to follow. At this point, no outcome — quick approval, quick disapproval, or putting off approval till a later date so that Samueli and the Los Angeles Lakers can be placated — would surprise me.

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12 comments on “Kings may not have NBA votes for Anaheim move

  1. Doesn’t the NBA face the potential of an antitrust, a la the Raiders, if the they disapprove?

  2. Doesn’t the NBA face the potential of an antitrust, a la the Raiders, if the they disapprove?

  3. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Maloofs don’t have the votes for this move, really.

    While there is some merit to the “if they can do it to LA, they can do it to OKC/Minnesota too” argument, let’s be realistic… that argument only holds water for a handful of solid markets in any sport. No owner is going to even apply to move a second team to markets that are already marginal, only those that (at least in their minds) are presently under served.

    Interesting that the proposed lease seems to have been a Maloof creation, and not an agreed contract between the parties.

    What would be the basis of an antitrust suit against the NBA if they do either act to prevent or simply fail to endorse such a move?

  4. Yeah, I can see Chicago, Golden State, and the Knicks/Nets being worried about this being a precedent for new teams moving in and sharing established markets. That’s about it though.

    What I’d be more concerned about if I were one of the other 23 owners (excluding the above 4, the LA teams, and the Maloofs) is what such a precedent would do to future national TV contracts in terms of the NBA blanketing the country. Maybe Sacramento’s ratings don’t mean much in the national sense, but some of the other markets whose teams are in jeopardy might, and any separate market is probably better for national ratings than a third team in LA.

  5. Only 6 teams will object
    -Lakers, Clippers (Maybe, since they set this precedent years ago and might abstain), Warriors, Knicks, Chicago, and Dallas.

    That is 5 for sure with 1 abstaining (Clippers). I do not see why anyone else would care. If there are other objections I am open to hearing them.

    The other owners need to have the ability to relocate or they will get stuck in mud just like the A’s are in Oakland.

    The NBA has too many suffering teams and the other owners could care less about the Lakers TV deal. It is about the overall health of the NBA and moving to Anaheim is a good move for the Maloofs and the NBA.

    David Stern knows full well already the votes are in hand or he would have come out and pushed the Kings back to Sacramento already.

    Stern like most commissioners do not like to go through the motions unless the outcome is pre-determined.

    Stern said the NBA has given up on Sacramento and Kings are free to do what they want.

    Hence we are looking at the Anaheim Royals next season or in 2012 because there probably will not be a season next year because of the lockout.

    The NBA needs to relocate teams like the Kings or contract. The big markets know this and are fighting to stop this move.

    In the end the $$ will speak loudly as Anaheim’s private sector is backing the 75M in bonds being floated with the city not on the hook for any of it.

    That is a great deal for any NBA team plus 84 luxury suites and a much nicer arena??? This is a no-brainer.

  6. I would be very surprised if Stern and the Maloofs don’t think there are at least 16 votes. But will we ever know the final vote?

    In any event, if the Kings are “forced” to stay in Sacramento, the Maloofs will then do some crazy things. They’re already at the league salary floor, but the owners are close to bankrupt. This move is really about Samueli gradually owning the team.

    They have so much debt on this team, it might be cheaper for them to abandon the franchise. Moving to Anaheim is a way to keep their feet wet in the NBA. If they can’t move to Anaheim, Samueli probably goes away, and then the Maloofs are probably stuck with some lower offer for the franchise.

    Things are going to get strange here. The party has just started.

    Force the Kings to stay in Sac, and they’ll be practically unrecognizable as an NBA team after that.

  7. the best solution? The magoofs should sell the team already. They are broke and hanging on by a thread. I can understand that owning a team is pretty neat but them magoofs are up to their necks with loans from everybody. Stern and other owners should tell the magoofs to get out while they can still make a decent profit.

  8. DJ – that’s the point of this whole exercise. Joe and Gavin believe that by moving the franchise from Sacto to Anaheim, it will gain in value, at least more so than the current curb value plus whatever moving costs are associated with the relocation.

    The wild card is the television contract. Right now, the L*kers and Clips are all over FSW, but when the L*kers go to their own TimeWarner network, that leaves a large hole for FSW to fill, and a lot of money to pay for filling that hole, certainly much more than they would be getting out of CSNC in Sacramento.

    Mike’s right. This party’s just starting.

  9. MikeM:

    I agree re: Samueli. Assuming he wants a second sports team, he stands to gain the most out of this move (if it happens).

    But I don’t think Anaheim is the only possible destination. Stern may be willing to approve a move (as he has essentially said), but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to back a move into an existing team’s territory.

    Adding another “Lakers” seems like a no brainer for any league. But it isn’t necessarily going to be another Laker-like economic engine. It could be the Clippers, or perhaps something less than the Clippers, given that this will be the third team in the market. The argument can be made that for the league as a whole, moving the Kings to ‘share’ an existing market might represent a small loss in support. How many non-basketball fans in the LA basin will become basketball fans if the Kings move to Anaheim? It might be more than the league will lose in the Sacramento area, then again, it might not. It’s unlikely that a team in Anaheim will cost the Lakers any support, but perhaps not so clear for the Clippers.

  10. Latest: Ronald Burkle may be interested in buying the Kings.

  11. Of course for Burkle to buy the Maloofs have to be interested in selling, which so far they haven’t been.

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