If ever there was a franchise and fanbase that needed to see the rumors of a potential sale come to fruition, it is the Sacramento Kings.
There certainly appears to be a lot of smoke around the Kings and their ownership right now, but whether that turns into fire is another story.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Maloof brothers, who have been the majority owners of the Kings since 1999, were on the verge of finalizing a deal to sell the franchise to a group based in Seattle.
The Maloofs are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer led Seattle group, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2013
However, Steve Large of CBS 13 in Sacramento reported that the offer proposed by the Seattle group was rejected by the Maloofs.
Source: Seattle groups offer was rejected by Maloofs. Hmmm. Plot thickening by the minute.— stevelarge_cbs13 (@largesteven) January 9, 2013
This franchise is in a complete state of disarray right now. There was a time, not that long ago, when the Sacramento Kings were one of the model franchises in the NBA. They were challenging the Los Angeles Lakers for Western Conference supremacy in some classic playoff series.
But that was almost a decade ago. The Kings haven't had a winning season since 2005, which was also the last time they made the postseason. Their roster has been depleted of any kind of star power for years, with no indication that their ability to draft and develop is getting better.
Tyreke Evans looked like a star as a rookie in 2009, but his performance has deteriorated in the three years since. He is averaging a career-low 14.6 points and 3.2 assists per game this season.
DeMarcus Cousins is the team's best player right now, but he has been having problems with the coaching staff, which has led to suspensions and a further disconnect between the front office and on-court product.
Because of all the issues the Kings have had with adding talent and winning on the court, marketing and selling tickets has become impossible in an arena that used to take pride in being the loudest one in the NBA.
The Kings haven't finished better than 27th in home attendance since 2007. There is such a disconnect between ownership and the fans in that city right now that it doesn't make sense for the Maloofs to keep running the team into the ground.
We don't know what the offer was that the Maloofs rejected, but I would be concerned if I was a fan that they have an over-inflated sense of what the franchise is worth.
Hopefully this situation can resolve itself soon, because new blood is needed to get this once-proud franchise that lost its way somewhere in the last 10 years. Whether that future is in Sacramento or Seattle or somewhere else, this franchise needs someone to come along and inject some life into it.