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Have you heard of ESPN's annual Ultimate Standings? It ranks sports franchises in every major sport (baseball, football, basketball, hockey), based on a variety of criteria analyzed by sports marketing experts and fan surveys, incorporated with team performance and ownership. There are 122 franchises in total in the study.
The Sacramento Kings rank No. 121. In 2003, the Kings were No. 4 on the same list. Oh how they have fallen.
In August, CBS pointed out that the Kings have not had a working team store website since June 15. From CBS:
“We had a company that was helping us with our website and these are lean times in the economy,” Kings spokesman Chris Clark said. “They’re in business one day, the next day they’re gone.”
What's crazier: The fact the Kings don't have a team store website and it's 2012 or the fact that the Maloof brothers are still allowed to own an NBA team after repeated signs of incompetency?
In the large scheme of things, the lack of a store website isn't that big of an issue. It's just another totem on a large one full of the Maloof's issues as owners. They continually came up with reasons why not to do the arena deal in Sacramento last spring, and essentially, want to sell a piece of the team to someone who gives them a new arena, while keeping controlling interest. That's not going to happen.
The fans of the Kings have been great for years, but there's only so much a fan base can do when ownership is terrible. Stern can't do much to help the Kings. He can't force the Maloofs to sell the franchise. The Maloofs are theoretically his boss. As much as Sacramento wants to believe the franchise is theirs, it's not. It's the Maloofs. Until someone pries the franchise away from their hands, the Kings and the Maloofs will continue to be huge headaches across the league.