Kevin Johnson: Anaheim is where the Kings want to be

This wasn't how Kevin Johnson wanted to spend his 45th birthday. The former Cal and NBA star who became Sacramento's first African-American mayor addressed reporters on Wednesday about the likelihood of the Kings moving to the Honda Center in Anaheim. Early on in his remarks, Johnson acknowledged that team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof were very interested in moving the team to Orange County, but Johnson stressed that no deal had been completed yet and the city was doing everything it could to keep the team in the state capital.

The full press conference is below. H/T to

The Kings' potential move is just the latest in a slew of issues Johnson's deal with since being elected in 2008. Johnson's campaign platform included attempts to improve the city's school system and reduce crime while dealing with budget issues (like so many other cities). Unfortunately it appears that in this instance, Johnson and the city of Sacramento are fighting a losing battle since Anaheim has one thing that Sacramento doesn't - an updated arena.

It also doesn't bode well for the city that the Maloofs are unwilling to provide a local arena exploratory committee with financial documents that could help determine the viability of a new arena in Sacramento. Kings ownership has also been unwilling to meet with the group.

Surprisingly, Lakers' owner Jerry Buss and Clippers' owner Donald Sterling have remained quiet on the subject of another team moving into their backyard. The Lakers wouldn't have nearly as much to worry about since their popularity in the market is well established, although they'd likely lose a small portion non-Laker NBA fans who would likely have a better chance to see the league's marquee teams in Orange County than they would at Staples Center.

But Sterling who has learned how to make several hundred million without even trying to field a competitive team should be very concerned that a team in Anaheim could seriously erode his fanbase. It might even force him to *gasp* treat players like Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon well in an effort to keep them around long-term. However, it wouldn't be surprising if Sterling turns into the ultimate NBA NIMBY very soon. Considering he's already reportedly punked David Stern at least once, there's no reason to believe Sterling won't try to flex on the Commish again.

1 comment:

  1. I don’t see how it makes sense for the Kings to relocate to Anaheim. There are already two NBA teams (Lakers and Clippers) that play in that area, so I'd say it would be difficult for them to build a loyal fan base. A better move would be to Kansas City, where they could play in the three year-old Sprint Center. That arena is looking for an NBA or NHL tenant, so it seems like a good fit.