Welcome to another week and another NBA Nation Australia Roundtable! This week we welcome yet another special guest, this time from Los Angeles, California. Jabari Davis is an avid Lakers and NBA fan, co-founder of TheOpinioNation.com and regular writer for famed and well-renowned Lakers blog LakersNation.com. Recently, Jabari was also a guest on fellow Aussie blog/Podcast #BelieveTheHype with Tom Read and Benyam Kidane. We thank you, Jabari for taking the time to answer a few questions and be a part of our Roundtable.
1. With the impending sale of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle where they will likely be renamed the Sonics, what effect do you believe the move will have on both cities and the NBA as a whole? Also, should the league have thought further about whether or not to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City in the first place?
Jabari: The sale, in my humble opinion, will signify the renaissance of one city (Seattle) and the unfortunate end of an era in Sacramento. Sacramento, while as small-town as they come, has remained one of the more rabid fan-bases over the past couple decades. Louder than many arenas on a given night, when the Kings were at their finest (C-Webb era) the only current home court environment that would be comparable is that of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coincidentally, those very Thunder were stolen away from “Emerald City” basketball fans back in 2008. While I completely understood the league’s desire to capitalize on the new found market in OKC given the successful trial period of the Hornets/Pelicans (post-Katrina), I never quite understood the decision to make it at the expense of a very loyal and dedicated Seattle fan base. Barring any last-minute changes, it will be phenomenal to see the game return to the area. I doubt the same thing ever happens in Sacramento.
Several sources close to the situation have indicated that a deal for the sale of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle’s Hansen-Ballmer Group is imminent. The reported settlement is said to be worth $525 Million and would see 65% of the Maloofs’ ownership go to Seattle. At this stage it is also reported that NBA teams have been notified, but the deal is yet to be approved by the league. More details ASAP.
From January 10th, 2013
Reports emerged on Twitter late last night of a blockbuster move which would see the financially decrepit Sacramento Kings relocate to Seattle after the Hansen-Ballmer Group made an offer to Kings owners the Maloof family to buy the team.
A press conference has been called, but as yet there is no official press release stating the move will indeed go ahead. The Maloofs are notoriously known for changing their minds last minute and the likelihood of them rejecting an offer remains high.
The projected figure of $500 million would see the franchise move to the old stomping ground of the fabled Seattle SuperSonics at Key Arena, before relocating to a new purpose built arena in the SoHo district two years later.
It is also reported that the Maloofs will likely retain a small percentage of ownership, but will ultimately have no say in the directions and choices the franchise takes.
Y! Sports was also told this morning that the buyer intends on reapplying the colors and name of the NBA history with which Seattle is known. Basically, we could potentially see the Seattle Sonics back in the National Basketball Association as early as next season.