Stop me if you've heard this before: The Sacramento Kings franchise may be packing in favor of a different city.
The latest reports (h/t Yahoo! Sports) cite that investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer, who could be the next owners of the Kings franchise for a reported $500 million, are looking to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski writes:
The Seattle group's plans, with support of the NBA, is to play two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new Seattle arena, sources said.
Seattle hasn't seen an NBA franchise since the Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season.
While the move would undoubtedly be much to the liking of the Seattle-based population, what about the fans, players and families of the Sacramento Kings?
It's not easy to uproot a man's family to a completely different city, especially when the players themselves have mixed feelings about the move.
Isaiah Thomas, Kings point guard and Tacoma native who would definitely enjoy the homecoming, had this to say regarding the move (via USA Today):
I've seen the Sonics go. I've seen when a team gets taken away from a city and devastates the fans. It's not a good thing. I don't wish moving a team on anybody.
Obviously, Sacramento fans aren't happy about the possibility of losing their team, as signs that read, "Sactown Needs This Team," and "Accepting money for Kings relief fund," could be seen at a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night (according to USA Today).
And if you think it's easy on the players to block out the potential move and focus on improving a 13-23 record, you're sorely mistaken.
Kings head coach Keith Smart already told USA Today it's going to be a distraction for his team, who have dropped three in a row and don't find themselves in a favorable matchup against the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Sacramento forward Jason Thompson, who has been with the team since 2008, voiced his displeasure with the recent rumors:
Every year they're talking about we're going to a different city. One year it's Seattle. Another year it's Virginia Beach. Then Anaheim another year. Nothing really surprises me. We can only control what we can control. All we can do is put the ball in the bucket and try to win. It's a tough situation for everybody.
It's no surprise that the Maloofs haven't shown their faces at any games recently and have declined to comment, as they practically have an entire city at odds with them.
Seattle was a fantastic basketball town when the SuperSonics were winning conference titles and an NBA championship in the 70's, but is bringing the Kings to Seattle really the answer?
Will fans just attach themselves to Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton the way they did Dennis Johnson and Ray Allen?
Displacing an NBA franchise is one thing, but moving a losing team from its beloved city appears to be an enormous mistake for the Kings organization.
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