Sacramento Kings Moving: Clay Bennett's Involvement Lingers over Sacramento
Although Ron Burkle's pitch to buy the Sacramento Kings along with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's tireless rally to keep the team in Northern California has given Kings fans renewed hope, one, giant spectre continues to plague the entire process: Clay Bennett.
Bennett is heading the NBA's relocation committee that is hearing the pleas from various movers and shakers from Sacramento to Anaheim.
Jilted Seattle Supersonics fans in Seattle had to be spitting up their coffee when news broke that Bennett would be leading the relocation committee. It was Bennett, of course, who bought the storied but troubled Sonics franchise, told Seattle he'd keep the team there, then uprooted it to Oklahoma City a year later.
He's about as welcome in Seattle as Thierry Henry is in Ireland or Aaron Boone is in Boston. In other words, he's not welcome there. He's already shown he cares little about salvaging a team in a fiercely loyal city—much like Sacramento. Naturally, his inclusion drew the ridicule and ire of Seattle residents who are still recovering from the Sonics' departure.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times writes (along with publishing some comical tweets from fans):
And you could use any number of words to describe the last man to relocate an NBA franchise now overseeing the very same process that could occur in Sacramento. It is galling if you're a Kings fan, problematic if you're an NBA fan and it's laughably predictable for Sonics fans. After all, gallows humor is about all we're left with when it comes to the NBA.
Bleacher Report's own Phil Caldwell writes:
You remember our flat-topped pal down in Oklahoma, right? While declaring his love and devotion to keep his newly purchased franchise in Seattle, where it had been for four decades surrounded by crazed Sonic fans selling out Key Arena when they actually had an owner trying to win, he was shooting off emails to his buddies back home declaring exactly the opposite of what he was saying publicly in Washington State.
Apparently David Stern, the recipient of several of these Oakie fib-missives himself, was so impressed that he deemed this as qualification for a position where other cities are to trust the head of the NBA relocation committee.
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