Two wrongs don’t make a right. If you’ve never heard that phrase before, I’m not sure you ever had a childhood.
When Clay Bennett and company took the Seattle Supersonics away from their fans in Seattle, that was wrong. It was devious, deceitful, unfair and unfortunate. Seattle was (and still is) an amazing basketball city and in no way deserved what happened to it.
But now, the good people of Seattle want to do unto Sacramento what was done unto them.
For those who have been living under a rock for the past few years, the Sacramento Kings are owned by the Maloof family, which is currently dealing with some money problems. The Kings were almost moved to Anaheim as the owners attempted to increase their revenue, but that move was averted. They are terrible, terrible owners.
And now they’re trying to kill basketball in Sacramento.
Word broke on Wednesday that the Maloofs were close to a deal with a group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to sell the Kings for about $500 million. The Kings would finish the season in Sacramento and the new owners would apply to the NBA to move to Seattle for the 2013-14 season. It is the Maloofs’ prerogative to sell the team to whoever they want for as much as they can get. But they’re being real jackasses to the people of Sacramento, who have stood by the team through thick and thin and have fought with everything they have to keep their team.
Sacramento is in a fairly unique position in the sports world. The city is regarded as an extremely small market despite that not really being the case — the Kings’ market encompasses over 2 million people — and they have but one professional sports team. Seattle got majorly screwed, but they still had the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders. Without the Kings, Sacramento has nothing.
I just don’t get how the people of Seattle can rejoice — and there has been a lot of rejoicing, at least on Twitter — when they’re doing exactly the same thing to Sacramento that Clay Bennett did to them. The Sonics’ departure from Seattle was horrible and ugly, obviously, but Sacramento’s has been no less ugly to this point. There’s so much at stake here and it would be nice if we took things slowly.
Beyond that, it’s even possible this deal will fall through. Nothing is finalized as of yet and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has stated that he will work to find a buyer for the team that will keep the Kings in California. Whether he will be able to do so remains unclear, but still. There are even reports circulating that the Maloofs may have outright rejected the Seattle offer, although it’s unclear how credible said reports are.
Here’s what it comes down to: please hold off on the outright celebration until at least after the sale is finalized. Preferably, you wouldn’t celebrate at Sacramento’s pain at all, but let’s be realistic here. This is a big deal for Seattle. Just please be nice about it. I understand that you’re excited, but would it kill you to show some empathy?
Oh right, this is the internet. Never mind.