Virginia Beach Throws Its Hat into the Kings Ring

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterAugust 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 13:  UNLV head basketball coach Lon Kruger (L) talks with Palms Casino Resort President George Maloof during a preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center October 13, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers won 98-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Virginia is a populous place—12th among all American states. By that shallow measure, it's surprising that it lacks a professional sports team in one of the "big four." 

Except, Virginia is a populous place that derives much of its population from Washington D.C. Once you factor in the Redskins, Wizards, Nationals and Capitals, the market is not so under-served. 

A hypothetical team in Virginia Beach, a possibility reported by the Hampton Roads Business Journal, would oddly take a team to the less populous southern part of the state. And I say "possibility" because the Hampton Roads piece is entitled, "Sacramento Kings may move to Virginia Beach," with emphasis on the "may." 

The article did give a specific timetable, though, stating that the Maloofs would announce the move on Wednesday. When reached for comment by Sacramento's CBS local affiliate, Joe Maloof said (via CBS Sacramento), "We haven’t talked to Virginia Beach."

So, we don't quite know whether the Kings are spurning Sacramento, Seattle and Anaheim for Virginia Beach.

It's also quite conceivable that ulterior motives played a part in today's leaked story. Beware of anonymous sources, as SBN's Mike Prada warns us: 

My guess: this report was all about Virginia Beach people trying to leak word that they're trying to become a viable NBA market

— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) August 23, 2012

Here's what today does mean: Some powerful Virginia Beachers are quite serious about getting a team. And really, it's not such a far-fetched possibility. The NBA, for whatever strange reason, keeps moving into small, Southern markets.

You laugh now, but Virginia Beach may be a bigger market than some recent pro basketball additions. 

The next time NBA owners whine about money losses, remember this: Some of the league's most recent moves have been to place a team in Memphis, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. These are delightful cities, but all are smaller than Major League Baseball's smallest market: Cinicinatti.