by Rudy Raya / @rudy_raya
It’s over. It’s finally over.
Mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference Friday morning to announce that Silicon Valley software tycoon, Vivek Ranadive, along with a slew of other investors, had come to an agreement to purchase the majority ownership of the Kings franchise from the Maloof family to keep the team in Sacramento for approximately $347 million; setting the overall value of the team at a League record $535 million.
“I’m just so excited, as a community, we did what people said we couldn’t do. This was one heck of a comeback, it was the longest of long shots, and we as a community rose up and did what nobody, nobody except for the folks in this town and in this region, thought we could do,” said Mayor Johnson before a crowd of fans, television cameras and civic representatives.
The Sacramento Kings will remain the Sacramento Kings and the Maloofs have been chased out of the town and the League. And today, this is the sentiment around Sacramento.
Seattle shouldn’t have to uproot an NBA franchise; they should have their own team. A losing basketball team like the Kings is the last thing that city needs. Imagine a place where it never stops raining and the lack of sunlight is mixed with an overexposure to excessively caffeinated coffee to create a community of cracked out, pasty-faced zombies!
No wonder Kurt Cobain killed himself. If he were alive today he’d probably kill himself again if he were forced to listen to Macklemore everywhere he went.
While it would probably help to be half-dead when rooting for a team like the Kings, it takes a particularly loyal city to support a team like this, and it’s impossible to overstate what this means to the city. This isn’t even entirely about basketball. This is about Sacramento retaining its most valuable and practically untapped asset.
Adding another professional sports franchise would have been great for Seattle, but for Sacramento, losing its only professional sports franchise would have been devastating, especially to those who work at the Kings’ arena.
Over the past year, Sacramento has seen thousands of jobs disappear with the closure of the Comcast call center, the Hostess plant and the Campbell Soup factory.
Other than the city’s chief export, high quality meth, the Kings are the only potential multi-million dollar entity that there is in this city. This team is the only thing keeping Sacramento from being just another place to stop for gas on the way to San Francisco.
A new arena means new buildings, new businesses, new jobs and new life for Sacramento. The new arena, and everything it brings with it, will turn Sacramento into the metropolitan hub that it should be as the capital city of California.
If you’ve never been to ARCO Arena, Power Balance Pavilion, Sleep Train Arena or whatever it’ll be called by next season, just imagine a place with shit-stained toilet seats, leaky pipes and asbestos that rains down from the rafters like confetti for a team that actually has a winning record.
As the oldest arena in the League, that place is beyond outdated. There’s a telegraph in the press room and the cobwebs have cobwebs on their cobwebs.
It’s imperative to mention that none of this would have been possible without the relentless work of Mayor Kevin Johnson. When everybody thought it was over before it had even begun, Johnson maintained that Sacramento wasn’t just going to sit by idly and watch the Kings get taken away.
Say what you will about electing a former NBA player as mayor, but Johnson re-wrote the book on being committed to a city and looking out for the best interests of the people he serves.
To the people behind Crown Downtown, the “Here We Stay” campaign and all the loyal Kings fans that let their voices be heard, congratulations!
Rejoice Sacramento! It’s OK to be happy; it is finally over. Whether you love basketball or you could care less about the Kings, realize what this means to the city of Sacramento.
Skip school, drink some drinks, make some babies, tap your shoes together three times and remember there’s no place like home—the home of the Sacramento Kings.
Rudy Raya is a contributing writer based out of Sacramento, CA.