The Sacramento Kings, the National Basketball Association (NBA), The Lockout and…..

The Sacramento Kings, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the 2011/2012 lockout.  I have waited a few months before starting this post.

Special logo marking the Kings' 20th anniversa...

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In the midst of the damn lockout by greedy owners (I’ll get to greedy players later) that may push the growth of professional basketball back a good decade, I am starting a running post about the Sacramento Kings.

Twitters at:

@SacramentoKings

@kingsbuzztap

@boogiecousins

@jimmerfredette

@jtthekid

@TyrekeEvansNews

and a lot more that you can find for yourself.

Given the current situation(s) the team finds itself in, that may well include components about:

  • the lockout and state of affairs
  • the movement toward a new sports arena in Sacramento
  • whether the team stays in Sacramento or leaves
  • whether the current owners keep the team or sell
  • rumors as well as truths about these.

With the lockout, I can’t even link to players and stats on the official team site.  There are none.  As if there are no basketball players.

The article at this link is excellent.  It is a 2007 rewrite of a 2004 article about “8 Common Profiles of a Bust”.  Even the name brings a smile and I read it again.  This guy is smart and funny and tags these players right on the chin.

Read it, you will enjoy it.

My guess?  The 2011.2012 season is gone.  Done.  Dead.

What does Stern want you to think?

I was a manager and an Executive for a long time.  I understand that folks on the line rarely see or understand the needs of the organization, they must focus on what they need to do today and not be cluttered with the rest of the bullshit.

So, in the NBA,  the Exec (Stern) during the lockout wants you to believe that it’s all about the money, including what teams win & lose.    Last year the Kings had money but chose not to spend it.  So during the lockout, Stern points to the Kings low spending and connects their team struggles.  As if they would be top-tier and blames it on the “soft cap.”

This year the Kings have money (cap room) but with the lockout can’t spend it and even if it ended today no one knows how or when teams can spend money.Even on their recent draftees,  They can’t even talk to players.  They are not even allowed to have their players pictures on the team website.  They face huge fines if they do.

The projections are generated by Basketball Prospectus.

October 8th:

David Stern wants us (fans) to cry “Uncle” over the lockout and force the players to cave.

“The clock wasn’t always on David Stern’s side just because of the specter of missed paychecks for players. It’s also one hell of a public relations sword to wield. He sets the deadlines. He controls the clock. He decides when the crescendo hits and the bottom falls out of the lockout song. He can twist the players’ stomachs into knots heading into Sunday if there are talks underway — which there won’t be, because Yom Kippur is celebrated on Saturday. “

October 28th:

Today an article on “The Big 4″ steering the debate in the NBA including David Stern, Billy Hunter, Adam Silver and Derek Fisher.  Read about each individual at the link.

“In their respective roles with the NBA  (Stern, Silver) and its players’ association (Hunter, Fisher), the four  will be asked to overwhelm the opposition – inside and outside their own ranks – with the brute force of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the gentility of Mother Teresa.

Read about it HERE.

Fort what it is worth, the Kings page on NBA.com is HERE

And the Kings 2011/2012 schedule (before it gets reduced or eliminated) is HERE.

But, mostly, this will be about my views on the team, the players & coaches and the future of the team on the basketball playing side.

So, let’s get on with it:

The 2010/2011 year in retrospect

What a difficult year for fans of the hometown Kings.

What about the organization?

First the owners have talks with the city of Anaheim, California about moving the team thereSerious discussions to the point of renaming the Kings  (as late as May 2011) and picking a time to move (the 2011/2012 season).

Understandable as Sacramento taxpayers have been unwilling to back any kind of plan for a new arena.  I get that.  But a 3rd team in Los Angeles??  I don’t think the NBA wants that, I’m not even sure the peeps in Anaheim wanted it.

So the NBA told the Kings “No”.

And Sacramento got busy.  And thought BIG.  Even Chris Webber tries to get involved.

Note that I say taxpayers are unwilling, not fans are unwilling.

Fans are also taxpayers of course and some unknown percentage of real game attending fans (even season ticket holding fans) are unwilling to pay for any part of a new arena.  I get that too.  Times are tough for most of us, but even in good times a lot of people would balk at public money being involved at any level.

That said, the Kings MUST have a new arena in order to consider staying.  otherwise they will move.  The business is so expensive that as owners you must have a solid expectation of what your future will be.

Besides the funding issue (and that is enough) the team has not been top-tier in the past few years and in the recent few it often seems the front office decisions are not well thought out and the owners no longer want to be a part of the community.

Sacramento had the best (most vocal) fans in the league because they saw the team as “their” team.  It was part of the fabric of the community.  Even Sacramentans who are not interested in the sport were interested in the fortunes of the Kings.  Now it often seems the organization is just “visiting”.

So how did the season go?

Up & down and mostly down as far as wins & losses.

What was good?  Another good crop of rookies, especially…..

C/PF DeMarcus Cousins.  This young  man just turned 21 in August 2011.  He is 6’11″ and 270 lbs.  A monster in the paint.  He is immature though, and it showed in his freshman season on & off the court.  He is a smart, likeable kid though and he has a huge upside to his career.  With someone on the team with stature (some street cred) to mentor him he will be among the best in the league.  Left on his own he may well explode.

Cousins averaged 18 PPG and 8+ RBs per game, and in many games he looked unbeatable at both ends of the court.  An exciting player and I am looking forward to his 2nd year.

Cousins manager talks about what is is like to manage a future star.

However, I removed him from my list of tweeters cuz his tweets sometimes read like a 12 year old.  I know he just has fun with them and I probably tweet like an old dude, but he does need to grow up and realize that what gets posted on the internet will live forever.  I know if I was tweeting and blogging at 21 I would be embarrassed to read them now, I was that stoopid.

Marcus Thornton, G.  Picked up from New Orleans and got minutes as Tyrke struggled.  He really produced and became a fan favorite.  But what will his role be with Evans healthy and two interesting guard draftees in Jimmer Fredette and Isiah Thomas?  With minutes in Sacramento, Thornton started scoring and hit an average of 21 PPG in 21 games to finish his season with the Kings.  Exciting and mature young player.

What were the problems?

An injury to G/PG Tyreke Evans.  What a great draftee the Rookie of the Year Evans was.  And how disappointing it was for the fans to watch him struggle through a full year of foot injuries.  With his injury his stats dropped in every important category and he just was not the same player.

All the best to Evans for this coming year.  I hear he is over his injury and from clips of some NBA player pick-up games he looks better than ever.

‘Reke’s half-court buzzer beater.

Jason Thompson, PF/C.  6’11″ and 250 lbs.  Also needs a maturity check (and he isn’t even young, so what’s the excuse here?) and like many players without a consistent role, minutes & expectations Thompson often fails to produce.  Another one with some childish tweeting issues but having fun.

How does the 2011/2012 season look?

The coming season looks very mixed.

First, the lockout.  Players have no idea if they will get to practice or play or when.  Will they go play in Europe?  If they do, can they come back?  Will they get injured somehow without a contract?

What about the rookies?

Drafted and now professionals.  But no contract, not even any contact with their team.

My guess?  No camp, no preseason, no first month or two….maybe the old 50 game season.  But I worry there may be no NBA this entire year.  Yes, I know.   I am a fear monger.

How strange it must be to be a rookie this year.  Strange for the fans as well because we can’t even guess at their potential impact on the team because we have no news on their contract status and we have no camp this year.  No practice news.  Nothing. At this point the league has postponed training camp and cancelled 43 preseason games.

But we have 5 reasons the Kings will be an up-and-coming NBA team:

5. Donte Greene and Tyler Honeycutt Will Fill the Small Forward Spot Admirably

4. Marcus Thornton Will Continue His Explosive Scoring Production

3. The J.J. Hickson Acquisition Will Pay Big Dividends

2. DeMarcus Cousins Will Grow as a Player

1. Tyreke Evans Will Develop into a Leader and Franchise Player

 Those are tantalizing reasons to follow the Kings during this upcoming season.  Read the details on each reason at the link above.
________________________________________________________________________________________
*****Negotiations*****

And so we find articles like these in the local news.

September 18th:  Time running out in the NBA lockout.

September 25th:  Kings can’t afford a cancelled season.

September 28th:  NBA lockout heads into key stretch.

October 1stNBA Players Union and the owners meet for a 2nd day of talks

and later that day:  After two days of talks, “with no real progress”, the NBA season opener is now in doubt according to Pro Basketball Talk via Comcast Sports.  “The NBA was going to open its new season (November 1st) in grand  style  .Now, NBA arenas will be dark.”  Read the rest of the article at the link.

October 2nd:

The NFL ended their lockout without injury to the season, and the NBA??  It is time to end this lockout now.

“Pick Door No. 1, 2 or 3  and make a deal. Both sides need to stop playing games  and start playing basketball or risk further alienating a fan base already  disturbed by the game’s lack of fluidity, mostly outrageous ticket prices and arena situations that vaporized the Seattle SuperSonics and have threatened the ruination of the  Kings.”

October 3rd:

Kobe working ‘intensely’ on Italy deal.

The NBA says that Tuesday will be a “HUGE” day in negotiations.

October 4th:

The “HUGE” day in negotiations resulted in the league cancelling the remainder of the 2011/2012 Pre-season.   Stern says the league offered a 50-50 split in revenues (they defined ‘revenues’ as “basketball related monies, which is below the 57% currently the players share) and the union turned it down “unequivocally”.  “They said, ‘We can’t do it.”‘ according to Stern.

If there is no labor agreement by Monday, the league said they will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season.

” Players had offered to reduce their BRI guarantee to 53 percent, which they said would have given owners back more than $1 billion over six years. They say they won’t cut it further, at least for now.”

Today was Media Day until the season went PPFFFTTTT!!

“What we are missing today is the opportunity to collect new content.  We are missing the bold proclamations of Marcus Thornton, the chance to see Tyreke Evans healthy for the first time in a year and Coach Westphal’s calm and positive message about new beginnings.”

More about what “should have happened” is it the link.

October 7th:

Today the NBA announced they refuse to meet with the players unless the Players Union agrees to a 50-50 split in “revenues” which is a signigicant reduction from the last agreement which had the players at 57% and a big reduction from the last offer the players made, 53%.

It certainly gives you a clue as to why the few meetings between the league and the players have had zero positive movement.

The outlook for a 2011/2012 NBA season just took a dismal turn.

For Sacramento Kings fans it means big trouble because getting any further positive footing on a new arena just became all the more challenging.

Thank you NBA and Mr Billionaire “Owner”.

October 8th:

Who is playing in Europe?  So far the “stars” that have threatened to play in Europe have not made the move.  Yet.  But there are a lot of NBA players there now.  You can find the list HERE updated to the signing of Tony Parker this week.  The list is organized by League, so if you are looking for a specific player, just muddle through.

October 9th:

 The Associated Press announces that the NBA Negotiators will meet Sunday night.  “Top negotiators for the NBA and players’ association will meet Sunday night in  perhaps the last chance to avoid canceled regular-season games, according to a  person with knowledge of the plans.”

There has been no indication that the players caved to the NBA 50-50 demand, so it is surprising (and welcome) to see the league will meet with the players.

“No talks had been expected after Friday’s developments, when the league said it  had been willing to meet on other issues but confirmed it wouldn’t go beyond a  50-50 split. Union executive director Billy Hunter had planned to fly to Los Angeles on Monday for a regional meeting with members.”

More at the link.

October 10th:

No breakthrough last night.  NBA & players will continue to meet today and try to avoid cancellation of regular season games.  Word is the players are still “no-go” on the 50-50 split so it’s difficult to see a deal here but both sides must make the effort.

The league says no deal today, two weeks of games will get cancelled.  Not sure how one day of talks equates to two weeks of games, but…..

While you are at it…..

Say goodbye to the mid-level exemption (as we know it):  “David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that we may have a deal on one piece of the NBA lockout puzzle: the mid-level exception. Without having the specifics, Aldridge reports that it will shrink in size under a new, heretofore mythical collective bargaining agreement.”

The Kings are already so far under the cap they wouldn’t be using the exemption this year, but it could affect the team in getting Samuel Dalembert signed elsewhere.  Dalembert (as this piece points out) is a poster-child for the exemption.  Changes in the rule could make him more attractive in a sign-and-trade scenarion and net the Kings a coveted draft pick (??)  Check more at the link.

Todays talks failed to produce an agreement.  NBA cancels the first two weeks of the 2011/2012 season.  More at the link.

After meeting for 7 hours today and more than 14 hours over this last weekend, “Stern said both sides are “very far apart on virtually all issues. … We just have a gulf that separates us.”

October 12th:

From today’s Sacramento Bee article about what may happen next in the contract stalemate is this gem:

“But did anyone else notice that while the parties were meeting in Manhattan  these past few days, deciding they couldn’t do a deal after all, protesters were  clogging the nearby avenues for the Occupy Wall Street rally?”

More at the link.

And it’s Federal Mediation for the NBA and Players Association:  They are using the same mediator who tried to settle the NFL lockout but failed.

George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and  Conciliation Service, announced Wednesday that he will oversee negotiations  between the NBA and the NBA Players Association. Those meetings will start next  Tuesday in New York.

October 13th:

Do YOU (the fans) care the games got cancelled??  I am kind of at the point that I don’t really care.  It’s only 2 weeks and it hasn’t even really started.  I don’t miss the games yet and I’m just tired of hearing about it I think.   You too huh???

“What’s worse than angry sports fans vowing to never watch another game after  a strike or lockout?

Apathy.

And that’s what we sense many fans are feeling about the NBA’s labor impasse. “

More at the link plus a poll and “Who will win the World Series?”  Well, I say “Who cares?”

Commisioner David Stern threatens to cancel games all the way thru Christmas if there is no deal by next Tuesday, October 18th.

Remember when Stern said prior meetings were critical and important?  (Look up a bit in this post), well now he calls Tuesday’s meeting “a really big deal”.

“How many times does it pay to keep meeting, and to have the same things thrown  back at you?” Stern said. “We’re ready to sit down and make a deal. I don’t  believe that the union is. Hopefully by Tuesday, aided by the mediator, they’ll  be ready to make a deal. Certainly, I’ll bring my owners ready to make a deal.”

That’s the way David.  But think of this:  You can see that I am a NBA fan.  I am at the point that I don’t give a fuck if you cancel the  season.

Let the players go play in Europe and Asia for this year.

Then let other rich dudes step forward and start a brand new basketball league because you and “your owners” suck.

That is why there is a Twitter account called @FuckDavidStern, but no real Stern account.

October 15th:

Today Billy Hunter threated Sacramento with the “contraction” of the NBA.  This article suggests the Maloofs are “broke”.  I doubt that but they are not as rich as they once were.  But then, who is??

Also, the players announced that they have met and agreed to stand together, united against the lockout.

And this article suggests that money is not the top issue in the lockout.  Uh huh…..

October 18th:

So, according to Stern, today is the day on which he will decide whether or not to cancel games all the way thru Christmas.  The NBA and players meet with the Federal negotiator in an attempt to work out an agreement.

Since the league insists that no deal can be made until AFTER the players agree to an even more significant cut in their share of the total money generated by the NBA (from 57% down to 50% on the players side.  They already agreed to cutting their share down to 53%, while the league has agreed to nothing), it does not seem to me that a deal can be made.

My expectation is that no deal will be made, games will be further reduced and then after one more chance” offered by the league they will then eliminate the season completely in hopes players will feel such pain that they will push the union to take the big cut.

Read this take on todays meeting and the author’s expectation that a deal will be made.

October 19th:

The NBA & players met on Tuesday with the federal arbitrator and continued to talk until 2 am.  16 hours of talking.  There is no deal but the two sides will meet again today.  Today is the 2 day owners meeting and Stern had threatened to cancel more games (thru Christmas) if no deal was reached yesterday.  We have heard it from Stern before.

The story is at the link above.

“Although the fact that talks didn’t break off is good news, one person with knowledge of the process said not to presume
there was any serious progress. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of (mediator) Cohen’s request (not to speak).”

Owners & Players start meetings again at 10 am this morning just 8 hours after breaking off for the night.  At least they are putting in hours and have not given up easily.

“No bargaining had been expected Wednesday or Thursday because the owners had board meetings scheduled. But the labor
relations committee instead returned for further discussions with the players’ association executive committee.”

October 20th:

Owners and Players put in another eight hours meeting on Wednesday.  No word on how the discussions went and no decisions announced.  Both sides are keeping their mouths shut which is a pleasant change.  The two sides will meet again on Thursday.

“Everyone is extremely focused on the core issues, the difficult issues that confront them,”  (Federal Mediator) Cohen said.

Talks broke for the night so owners could have separate meetings at another hotel. Stern left negotiations after seven hours to join the owners for a presentation on revenue sharing.”

And Commissioner Stern is being quiet during this thing which is really nice.  I am sure that the Commissioner’s stupid announcements and threats were supposed to push players toward an agreement but did nothing but piss off the fans.  More at the link above.

Well, now we know why Stern has been so quiet this week during these negotiations…at least today.

He has been too ill to attend.  “He (Stern) has the flu and was sent home by his doctor Thursday, missing afternoon  negotiations.

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver handled a news conference after the league’s  Board of Governors meeting and said it was “unclear” to him whether a full  82-game schedule was still possible because of the lockout.”

More about Stern and today’s activities can be found at the link.

After some 30 hours of meetings over the last 3 days the entire episode turns nast and the talks break off.

The outlook for the 2011/2012 season is the bleakest ever.

“We’ve always felt there was still a place where they would just not go and they would lock us out as long as it would take in order to get us beyond that place. There was never really a willingness to
negotiate beyond certain points,” union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said. “There was just a line drawn, and regardless of what’s going on, how many times we meet, ‘we’re not going past that.”‘

“Without a deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern, who missed Thursday’s session with the flu, almost certainly will decide more games must be dropped. “

“We were shocked,” he said. “We went in there trying to negotiate and they came in and they said you either accept 50-50 or we’re done and we won’t discuss anything else.”

More on this at the link.

NBA Talk of Parity is a Sham:  “The NBA lockout talks between the owners and the Player’s Association have fallen apart once again, as both sides still cannot agree on the split of BRI.  Moreover, Derek Fisher says the owners are flat out lying to us.

I agree with him.”

“…The owners don’t really care about competitive balance.  The teams with the best players or the greatest stars will always win, and most of those stars are drafted or traded for using young prospects from the draft (see how Boston got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen).  What the owners care about is making a guaranteed profit, all on the backs of the players.  At least be upfront about it.”

More on the sham of competitive balance at the above link.

From the Associated Press, NBA owners dual “wants” have put even more games in jeopardy.  “NBA owners have their priorities, and playing games isn’t first on that  list.

Instead, the league is looking beyond this month – and maybe beyond this  season, if that’s what it takes – to implement an extreme financial makeover  after years of sizeable losses. The goal, in the words of Spurs owner Peter Holt, “an opportunity to make a few bucks.”

After NBA labor talks broke down Thursday night, Holt was asked if  owners might be willing to sit out a year to get the changes they crave.

“The competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we don’t want to  lose the season, I don’t think the NHL did either. It ended up happening,” said  Holt, chairman of the owners’ labor relations committee. “There are certain  things that we feel we must have.”

My guess?  The season was lost the day the owners first voted to implement the lockout.  They have certainly stuck together in this (suprising) but the damage it may do to their fan base and the smaller markets is disturbing.

October 28th:

Owmers & Players are talking for the 3rd straight day.  The players keep offering lower amounts for their share of the revenue.  They started at the 57% from last year and their last offer was 52.5%..  And the generous owners?  They started at 50% and now they came all the way up to 50%.  Wow.

That makes for some easy hecka ass negotiating there.

No surprises here.  Today 3 days of negotiations “fell apart”.  Gee, no “ugly end”??

And then Stern canceled games thru the end of November.  Why not just chop chop the whole season?  This one toe at a stuff time is brutal for the fans.  If they are watching but I think you already lost them Mr Stern.  I think they just don’t care anymore.

Read it at the link if it matters at all.

November4th:

Well, it is November and I’m really not missin the NBA games.  Dunno…

But tomorrow (Saturday) it looks like the players could have a “choice”:

Either accept the (original) 50/50 split that owners and Stern offered about 23 years ago OR (else)

  1. “risk having more owners join the hardline faction that wants a 53-47 split in its favor- and a hard salary cap.
  2. oh, wait again…..that’s the only choice?

Read the article and then watch Saturday’s talks blow up in their faces cuz the owners want this season to go willy-nilly and the players won’t give the gains they fought hard to get away.

If they cannot craft an agreement they players may face a tough match-up:  Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard are two young players leading a group who threaten to decertify the union if they even talk of accepting a deal that puts the players share at less than that 52.5 mark.

The union “denies any rift” or threat by a group of players.  Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter say the players are “united” and seek to remain that way as they fight against hard-line owners.

So, it appears the lack of progress has developed hard-lines on both sides  And the owners group, led by “not so young” Michael Jordan is flat-out determined to reduce the players share to 50 percent or less.

The two sides say they want to find common ground and the players have agreed to lower their intial stated demands from 57 percent down to the latest 53 %.  I’m not sure they can go any lower and keeo their group together,

And the owners have made no movement at all, starting at 50% and sticking ith 50%.  Actually some have said quietly, 47%.

Each side juggles some two billion

Todays meeting between the two sides will be number 21, starting at 1 pm ET.

November 6th:

So all of these damn meetings all of the movement and offerings from the players (dropping their percentage from 57% to 53% while the owners have increased their offer from 50% all the way to 50%…yes, really still 50%) now the owners make a new offer…”and a deadline to go along with it.”

I’m sure the owners figure they have worn the players down.  They have certainly worn the fans down.  And they may truly think they are being the generous ones.  But they are not.

Commissioner David Stern gave NBA players an offer and a deadline: Accept a  chance to earn up to 51 percent of basketball-related income by Wednesday or get  ready for a deal that’s a whole lot worse.

He wouldn’t call it an ultimatum, but it didn’t sure sit well with the  union.

“The players will not be intimidated,” attorney Jeffrey Kessler said early  Sunday after eight hours of negotiations stretched late into the night.

Read more about the offer at the link above.

If I was a player I would say “Kiss my roundball ass“.

November 8th:

The Player Representatives, one for each team so a total of 30 player, will meet this afternoon to consider the owners/NBA league “offer”.  This offer,  which to me seems more like a demand, has a time limit to it—I thought the deadline was yesterday, but there was no news so maybe not.

The article at the link above describes the deadline as Wednesday.

They can push to accept a league proposal that union leaders dismiss as badly  flawed.

They can support their leaders, reject the proposal and dare Commissioner  David Stern to make good on his threat to replace it with a worse deal.   

    They can advocate dissolution of the union, inviting turmoil and a court  battle.

They can settle and play basketball, or they can prolong the fight.

Every option will be discussed

Read more at the link.  The Representatives have a tough assignment of reaching some sort of agreement that will help craft the next step the union takes.

November 9th:

So, the Team Reps gave their decision to the league:  “Fuck you!”.  And the players decision actually had a good result.  Between the publication of the decision in this mornings newspaper and lunch today the leagues owners decided to meet again with the Union before Stern’s deadline which is “sunset at the OK Corral” kind of crap.

My career was always as a manager and an executive.  I have negotiatiated way too many contracts on the side of the employer.

I fully understand negotiatiating tactics and strategies, but I have always believed that public “deadlines” are a bad tactic.  The worse you make the relationship the less trust either side can half and the harder it is to reach agreement.  Because as much as you as the mployer want to believe it is about getting people to do what “you” want—it is really about reaching an agreement.

So, good luck to the league, the owners and the players.  But it seems to me that the league blew the hell out of whatever level of trust the parties had left just a few days ago with Stern’s public “ultimatum”.  Give that crap at the table, behind closed doors.  But not in public.

Read the article with the latest news HERE or at the link above.

November 10th:

This is day # 132 of the NBA lockout.

Somehow the players & the owners continue to negotiate past my bedtime and after todays police raid on the UC Berkeley students has come to an end—-and Joe Paterno has been fired but the students at PSU just will not calm down!  And the students at Harvard have encamped for their very first night.

What does that have to do with the B-Ball lockout??
Nothing, it just shows how tired I am with this NBA Trillionaire and Billionaire lockout the Millionaire bizzizzness.

By the end of more than 12 hours of talk, nothing but a lot of blah blah blah.

But they will be back at it again today (Thursday).

David Stern’s deadline passed without a deal, though the NBA  and its players will talk again Thursday.

The NBA commissioner wouldn’t give any hints about what that means for hopes  of ending the lockout.

“I would not read into this optimism or pessimism,” he said. “We’re not  failing. We’re not succeeding. We’re just there.”

I wonder if Stern tires even Stern?

Certainly he must tire Mrs Stern??

This is day # 132 of the NBA lockout.

November 11th:

The NBA players get to “ponder” a tweaked proposal from the league & owners:

David Stern is such a great negotiator!

“David Stern is ready to start a 72-game season on Dec. 15. Players, however, aren’t prepared to make that happen just yet.

If they choose to reject the league’s latest ultimatum, they will get a far harsher offer, one that could put the entire NBA season in jeopardy.

The answer should come early next week – and Stern made it clear: Yes or no, no more negotiating.”  (Bold are mine)

No more negotiating David?  Well, then what?  How do you have a league if you will not negotiate a contract?

Don’t you think your constant pouty “I won’t play anymore” public exclamations make it more difficult to reach an agreement?

I understand the frustration, but say what Stern?

And the clock “stopped” and now you started the same clock again with a different proposal?

Anyway, read the crap at the link above.

The revenue split started with the players at 57%-43% last year.

 The owners have wanted a 50-50 split.

Now their offer to the players is a 47%-53%, with the owners getting 53%.

Who expects the players will just ‘jump’ at that great offer??

November 13th:

NBA Players Union will meet Monday to discuss the owners latest “offer”.

The players’ association will meet in New York on Monday morning, a session that  could lead to the end of the lockout or send it into a bigger tailspin.  Representatives from all 30 teams are expected, as are other players, to examine  and discuss a seven-page summary of the NBA’s latest collective bargaining  proposal to the union.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of this latest offer.  It is dated Friday, November 11th.  I will keep semi-quiet about that, but at least another offer was made as I doubt the previous offer would fly with players.  But because it was just issued Friday some players and Reps have not yet seen it.

I just couldn’t stick with the Twitter feed.  As a fan it was frustrating.  If I was a player it would have been insulting.

Especially the answer to this question:

“(Dwayne) Wade asked, “why are all your “system solutions” only impacting the PLAYERS??  What have the owners (given) up of significance??”

B-Ball players are smart and they know that the union has been offering cuts on their salaries all summer long, while the owners have given up NOTHING.

Read more  HERE

November 14th:

Here we go fans…today the union rejected the recent NBA offer which David Stern called the “final” offer saying the world would end before another offer is tendered by the league and said that something “dire” is now going to happen.

What David?  Gonna cancel some games??

Anyway, the union is now set to dfisband meaning for one thing the NBA has no one to negotiate with for now.

Although one article says this also:  “The sides still can negotiate during the
legal process, so players didn’t want to write off the season just yet.

“I don’t want to make any assumptions,” union VP Keyon Dooling said. “I believe we’ll continue to try to get a deal done or let this process play out. I don’t know what to expect from this process.”

Read at the link above.  More threats by each side, trying to see who can call up the scariest group of adverbs to describe where things are.

November 16th:

The players have filed a number of lawsuits against the NBA around the country now that the league has called an end to the contract negotiations.

This is already being called:  “nuclear winter”.  Definitely not a good term.

“We’re about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA,” league Commissioner  David Stern said in a television interview. “It looks like the 2011-12 season is  really in jeopardy.”

The league already had canceled all November games. League officials on  Monday declined to say if and when they would cancel more of the season.

Read more at the link above.

November 26th:

12:30 am PT and David Stern & Billy Hunter announce that  there is a tentative agreement.  No details were announced and no timetable for ratification or a basketball schedule.

Maybe this is why ‘Reke said today he wasn’t so sure about playing in Italy after signing an agreement yesterday.

So I guess we can survive a little more lockout until we hear some details???

I am afraid to say that this is exciting, but this is exciting.

But, remember, there is no union and the two sides have lawsuits in motion.

The deal will be contingent on players reforming as a union and players  ratifying the deal. Owners also have to agree to the deal.”
Read more HERE

The AP announces a 66 game 2011/2012 season to begin on Christmas Day.  That would be a fast turn-around onreforming a NBA Players Association (union), the voting and getting everything together.  As a fan, I hope they can get it together.

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season. This handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by both owners and players….

The union needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members. That process is a bit more complicated after the players dissolved the union Nov. 14. Now, they must drop their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota and reform the union before voting on the deal.

Because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can only be completed once the union has reformed. Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the league and the players.”

NEW YORK (AP) – After nearly two years of bickering, NBA players and owners are back on the same side.

“We want to play basketball,” Commissioner David Stern said.

Come Christmas Day, they should be.

The sides reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee tripleheader Dec. 25. Most of a season that seemed in jeopardy of being lost entirely will be salvaged if both sides approve the handshake deal….

…Owners locked out the players July 1, and the sides spent most of the summer and fall battling over the division of revenues and other changes owners wanted in a new collective bargaining agreement. They said they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in each year of the former deal, ratified in 2005, and they wanted a system where the big-market teams wouldn’t have the ability to outspend their smaller counterparts.

Players fought against those changes, not wanting to see any teams taken out of the market when they became free agents.”

Read more from this AP article here.

November 27th:

This may be nearly the last group of entries in this post as we wait for final word on the status of the proposed deal.

But, god what a FLOOD of articles mostly in cities with NBA Teams.

Today we have articles in our newspaper in every section:  front page, local, sports, business–everyone ids talking about the a”deal” or the Kings or both.  Exciting after “nuclear winter”.

Front Page:  Even someone from the Kings comes out to make a statement about the deal.  It has been some measure of time since we have heard from the kings.  Look for a comment here.  Nope?  Today, in this article we have folks from the Kings with some positive comments.  Nice.

The tentative agreement is great news for our fans, players and our  organization,” Kings spokesman Chris Clark said. “We are very hopeful the NBA  will be back on the court on Christmas Day.”

Local section:  We have an article about Mayor Johnson’s ongoing push for a “stong Mayor” position.  Many argue that if the Mayor held all of the power today his first action would be to call the Arena deal done.

Sports sectionNBA Deal Lifts Kings Hopes:  the article explains how difficuylt it would have been to sustain the push for a new arena if the NBA was on life support.

The tentative deal reduces players’ share of league basketball revenues from 57  percent to somewhere in the 49 to 51 percent range over the length of a new  contract, which is expected to be a 10-year deal, with an opt-out clause for  both sides at six years.”

If the players are willing to accept this deal I will support them.  It won’t hurt guys in their present deal and (depending on the language) maybe not even the guys on the verge of their “Deal”.

It impacts the rookies.  And it really hurts the guys who are in the 7th grade today.  The guys who will push thru their rookie contractg and then come out in their first “Free Agent” period at the end of this 6-10 year NBA contract.

Got a kid playing ball in your driveway?  Practicing 500 free-throws a day?  That is the guy that this NBA contract will impact.

Got a 7th grader who will be a billionaire and own a NBA team in six years?  This contract will help the hell out of him.

Free Agents like the Kings Marcus Thornton are happy the deal is nearly done so that they can move on.   They may not be happy with the specifics of the deal.

Commissioner David Stern said training camps ideally will start Dec. 9,  coinciding with the start of a compacted free-agency period. The season would  begin with a Christmas tripleheader.

By then, the Kings will have had time to use the $25 million to $30  million under their salary cap to add to the roster, which would include  re-signing Thornton and signing their three draft picks.

But until Thornton actually can speak with the Kings, he remains in limbo.”

Today we will end with one of the Sacramento Bee’s regular Kings reporters, Aileen Vioisin.  I rarely agree with Vioisin and don’t much enjoy her writing.  You make you own choice.

“…the small owners arm-wrestled their bigger colleagues for a reason: This is  their league, too.

“You never can be sure how a new system will work,” NBA  deputy commissioner Adam Silver said early Saturday, “but we feel ultimately it  will give fans in every community hope that they can compete for championships,  and that their basis in believing in a team will be a function of management of  that team, rather than how deep the owners’ pockets are or how big the market  is.”

Check out the articles at each link above for today.  Good stuff!!!

There are also a TON of other articles out there.

We will start with this one since we are talking about Marcus Thornton.  The article from the Royal Pain blog suggests that the new CBA will help the Kings retain Thornton   The Free SAgency period will be shortened under this first year just because so much of the calendar is gone.  The other thing on the Kings side (and a problem for them) is the amount of money the Kings have to spend.

With Jimmer on board I worried the team may trade Thornton, now there probably is not time to make a good trade.  But if the Kings can package Thornton and some forward (Greene?) for a real Point Guard, I say pull that proverbiasl trigger.  Evans is a great 2 guard, but he is not a point guard.  Either is Jimmer.

November 28th:

Very very late:  the NBA announced it will allow teams to start talkinking to their own players and to agents of players on other teams.  The scramble will be on

November 30th:

The lockout is partly unlocked and the Kings decide to talk to their own free agent players:  Dalembert and to Thornton.

Since the NBA lockout began July 1, Kings coaches and executives had met numerous times to  discuss how they would eventually approach free agency.

Wednesday, the talk was finally put into action

And with that, the Kings reached out to their free agents – Marcus Thornton and Samuel  Dalembert – to begin what will be an important, compressed free-agency  period.

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said the team will have to spend $16 million to  $17 million to reach the minimum salary level and is about $25 million under the  projected salary cap.

It is the biggest salary cap cushion of any team in the league.”

So, the Kings have the most money to spend of any team in the league.  But will only spend maybe half of it this year.  So they  are not looking winning this shortened season right?  Right.  Nothing wrong with that.  But they have to spend a ton of bucks just to reach the required league minimum.  Almost amusing.

And with the lockout near an end,  basketball is back on the focus as fall comes into view:  “These are the kinds of negotiations NBA fans have been waiting for.

Teams began talking to agents Wednesday as the lockout inched closer to its  end, and basketball moved back into focus. Dwight  Howard and Chris Paul were linked to trade speculation, while free  agents such as Tyson  Chandler and Nene were in the news after months of attorneys getting all the  ink.

Now, the players are taking over and the league was set to reopen its  facilities for workouts Thursday.   

    Some may arrive out of shape, just as was the case in January 1999 after  the NBA’s only other shortened season. But they’re anxious to get back, with a  little more than three weeks until they start playing games.

Read more at the link…..As fans, we thought it was bad when players started getting millions to play basketball, football, basball….now attorneys get millions just to talk about it and sports writers get millions …not me    :-(  just to talk about it….

I’m glad as heck that we have players back where they should be.  Playing.

I’m not so sure about owners owning.  you may have figured that out reading my stuff.

Oh well, I am prejudiced FOR athletes.

This may be the last lockout I see.  I am old enough that I may not make it to see another.  They take a hecka lot out of you.

Read the Kings Season Preview (Part One of Three) HERE via SacTown Royalty.

Hells to the jingle bells, yeah.

I am beyond friggin’ psyched and uber-stoked the NBA is back. :) I am as blisteringly pumped as Beavis and Butthead with front row tickets to an AC/DC and Metallica metal-palooza. We went from the possibility of no team in Sacramento, and to no NBA season, to a sounds-right total of 66 games played where the team belongs, beginning on a day when gifts are given. Seems appropriate, huh? My feeling can be summed by the opening salvo from front man of a no-name band I saw at a dark and drunken club with amazing acoustics two weekends ago.

 Rock n roll, bitches.”

I don’t agree with everything the guys says, but the writing is spiffy and he is hopeful so it gives King’s fans some measure of optomism.

Part Two of Three is HERE

December 2nd:

NBA Players authorize the return of the players association.  With the union reformed, talks with the owners will re-start on completing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) needed to get training camps open on December 9th.

The NBA allowed teams to open their facilities to their players, as well as talking to their own free agents.

What did it mean to the Kings?  Besides opening discussions with the teams two free agents, one player came into the Kings practice facility on December st.  That player?  G/F Francisco Garcias.  Garcia is a guy that spends a lot of time in the practice facility.  But he is one of those gym rats who’s workouts don’t translate to on-the-court success.  A couple of times in his career, fans and probably Garcia, have expected big years.  Even his very big contract did not result in on-the-court success.

Garcia’s teammates seem to like him.  He is the only King from the “old” days,, the glory days.  The winning days when Sacramento was Kings.  But he sure is not the one you would have expected to still be here.

A trade would be nice for a nice guy G/F who practices a heck of a lot of time.

Training camp starts December 9th.  Two exhibition games have been announced:  December 7th vs the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, and December 0th vs the same team here in Sacramento.

December 8th:

Team owners & players ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement so league business is open tomorrow, December 9th as are training camps and we will hear even more rumblings/grumblings about Free Agents and Rookies.

The 10-year deal promises owners savings of perhaps a quarter billion dollars a year but largely leaves intact the soft salary cap system that the players fought hard to maintain.”

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The Kings team is sponsoring a Fun Run  Saturday, October 22nd at Power Balance Pavillion.  This is a 5k fun run/walk and a portion of the fees will be donated to physical fitness programs in the Sacramento City Unified School District.  Special guest is former Kings guard, Doug Christie.

Registration starts at 9 am

Fun run/walk from 10 am to 11:30 am

Post-party starts at 11:30 and runs until at least 1 pm.

Pre-registration is just $15.00, includes a T shirt

On the day is $20, includes a T shirt

Kids 5 and under are free (but no T-shirt)

Come dressed in your favorite costume for Halloween and win prizes, plus activities for the family in the post-race party.  Costume awards for Best Kings, Scariest, Best Individual, Best Kid and Best Team costumes.

Enter online HERE.

Doug Christie has dinner with Kings partners on October 21st at Spataro in downtown Sacramento:

TV station Fox-40 will be there.

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Join in the Sacramento Kings Fitness Clinic

When:       Friday,  October 28th

Where:     Sacramento Kings Practice Facility

You can register at the link above.  Only are available so HURRY!!!!!


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SMALL MARKET. BIG HEART

Eventually this is a full-length documentary Coming Dec. 2011.   “Small Market, Big Heart” is  a full-length documentary designed to share the compelling 26-year story of the people of Sacramento and their battle to get and keep a professional sports franchise.  See the article at the link above.

The Small Market/Big Heart website is full of a lot more detailed information.

So, mark your calendar for December…..They are also looking for sponsors so if you have ever dreamed of seeing your name on the big screen for a full-length movie??  Here is your chance!!!

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*************************************************************

This may be the best rumor floating out there during the lockout:

Magic Johnson may become the Kings owner.

Magic sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers so currently has no team attachment and has always expressed his desire to own a NBA team.

Magic has money, but not NBA sole owner money (I don’t think).

But he could be part owner and would be able to bring in others just with his name and reputation.

It certainly seems the Maloofs would like to exit stage right and the article at the link explains Magic’s connection toSacramento’s Mayor former NBA point guard his own self, Kevin Johnson.  And Magic has connections with AEG, the arena & stadium “king makers” in Los Angeles who are drooling over Sacramento. (Look below and read the Arena section of this post)

Maybe Johnson & Johnson could be good for what ails the Kings?

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Bobby Jackson, former Kings SG/PG and all around great guy off the court and in the lockeroom, announces that he will be a Kings Assistant Coach.

Channel 10 in Sacramento reports that  Jackson tweeted, “What up tworld I have decided to join the Kings coaching staff as an Assistant Coach once the Lockout ends.”   More at the link.

November 16th:

B Jax comes back to the Kings as an Assistant Coach (assuming we have a season…and a Sacramento Kings.  The kings will also add Keith Smart as an Assistant Coach with Jackson.  Both are former Kings players and Smart was Head Coach for a bit o time leading the Golden State Warriors last season.

Smart broke my heart as a college player back in 1987 firing the winning shot against Syracuse giving the college crown to Indiana.

That was one of three times I got to see the Final Four in person.  What a thrill even though Syracuse lost in the New Orleans Superdome.

*************************************************************

So, in the midst of the lockout  we are stuck with articles like these:

September 22nd:

There was a rookie game.  Fredette gathered fellow rookies for a game at Bringham Young University.  Information about the game is at the link and actual rookie game coverage is here.

September 23rd:

The Kings rookies impressed the crowd during Jimmer’s game.

September 28th:

Kings Rookies Play the Waiting GameAt the link the Sacramento Bee talks about how different this season is for rookies.  “Instead of looking for a place to live in Sacramento and preparing for training camp, Thomas is living in the same apartment and  working out with players who would have been his teammates had he chosen to stay  in college”.

In Sacramento what about an arena?  Every day it’s something new and the owners continue to seem to be completely uninterested in Sacramento even though we have a previous All-Star PG as Mayor, working hard to get a new arena built.

And speaking of rookies, will they be any good?  Will Cousins and Thompson mature?  Will Thornton have a follow-up great year?  Will Tyreke be recovered from the injuries?

October 12th:

A push for an Exhibition game in Sacramento:

Social Media played a major role to keep the Kings in Sacramento for at least one more year.  And now, it’s playing a vital role to bring basketball back to California’s capital during the NBA Lockout.

Kings forward Donté Greene is organizing a charity exhibition game for the Sacramento region, thanks in large part to Twitter.  A Sacramento Kings fan tweeted the idea yesterday to Greene, who took the message to heart and put the thought into action

October 17th:

If the NBA season is cancelled could the Kings get a Top 10 draft pick for the 2012 draft?  Almost a tempting proposition since I nearly don’t care about this season anyway.

From Hoops World this morning “Re-running the 2011 draft order won’t fly with very many teams, although some have made the case the easiest way to insure the perennial lottery teams like Sacramento, Toronto and the Clippers get out of the draft lottery in the coming years would be another pass with the 2012 draft class.”

But they also note that a re-run of the 2011 draft slots would not fly with the upper level teams, although I would think the 2011 order would be pretty close to the 2012 order except those ping-pong ball teams because that can go a million different ways on any given day.

But another swing at the Top 10 would be good for the Kings, tho we will probably get there anyway.  And the 2012 draft class certainly looks more promising talent-wise than the 2011 class.

Read more at the link plus vote for how you would want the draft to be conducted.

November 9th:

Donte Greene is at a time in his young career he should be solely focused on making the next step.  On showing significant improvement so that he can get a big payday.  If not, his chances for a really big deal dwindle and his opportunities for anything quality as a Free Agent a year from  now go up in smoke.

He has talent and has made some growth as far as maturity but is still a bit of a head case.  And has not yet shown consistency that equals more minutes on the floor.

All that was to happen this year.  Now the lockout (I almost typed ‘strike’)  threatens his future, not justhis pocketbook.  He could wind up a career end of the bench big guy or out of the league in a year or two.

Now, instead of making those improvements and proving his worth, Greene has put together one “charity” game to be held at the University of California in Davis called The 2011 Goon Squad Classic scheduled for November 20th.  The name kind of shows Greene’s level of immaturity.

If I was an NBA player during this lockout, the last thing I want associated with my name is “Goon Squad”.  Even as a joke.

Some of the other goons are Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans (not a goon), DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant (no longer a goon), John Wall (not a goon), Jason Thompson, Hassan Whiteside (have not seen enough yet Hassan) and others.

Read about the game HERE  and you can Twitter Mr Greene @dontegreeneCOS

November 22nd:

Before Sunday’s Goon Squad Classic you can watch this Channel 10 video of some current and future Kings as they prepare for the game.  And even talk about the lockout.

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*****The Sacramento Arena*************

What about a new arena?

This is the sticking point for all of the parties.

September 27th:

The new arena faces yet another critical vote.  Actually 2 important votes, check the link.

September 29th:

The Sacramento City Council approved both measures and so the arena moves a few big steps closer to reality with money approved” $550,000 in spending for lawyers and consultants to “vet the project” and negotiate a proposed arena with the NBA and the Maloofs”.

October 1st:

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA PG All-Star, continues to work hard to settle the issues surrounding a new arena and keep the Kings in Sacramento.  A point guard does not want to lose an NBA team while Mayor.  At the link you will find a September 5th USA Today article.

Mayor Johnson has been able to get key votes approved by the City Council since that article.  More hard work is ahead of him (and us).

October 6th:

Sacramento officials have a “constructive” meeting about their arena plans with the NBA. 

The daylong meeting, held in Dallas, is expected to be the first of a series of  discussions before the end of the year between the league and the city as the  two sides attempt to agree on a financing and development plan for a new sports  and entertainment facility in downtown Sacramento.

“All sides expressed a desire to continue to work collaboratively. Our focus is  on putting in place a public-private partnership that will put the taxpayers  first and generating more than 4,000 jobs and $150 million in annual economic  activity in the City.”

Read the article at the link.

October 9th:

AEG could help make the arena dreams come true. 

“If all goes according to plan, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) of Los Angeles will also be the operator and lead investor in  the proposed sports arena in Sacramento’s downtown railyard.

AEG is a multibillion-dollar enterprise owned by one of America’s wealthiest men,  Denver oil tycoon Philip Anschutz.

Read more at the link.

AEG’s concert promtions could make sense for an arena in Sacramento.  They have political clout to get things done.

“In Sacramento, concerts and other special events might be the key to getting the arena built. The Kings would be the main tenant, but non-sports events are usually more profitable for arenas because they tend to share more of the revenue with the building operators, Bongiovanni said.

With its stable of big-name music acts, AEG could use the railyard arena as a tour stop. “They may view Sacramento as another outlet or distribution channel for their content,” Carter said.”

Yet, Kings fans worry that the lockout and possible cancellation of games (or the season) could impact the movement toward a new arena even with AEG on board.  Read more  from Channel 3 KCRA.com HERE.

October 21st:

The lockout talks with the Arbitrator not only fell apart—they got ugly (see above Lockout negotiations section) but what does that mean to Sacramento and the arena talks??  According to Mayor Johnson, nothing.  They Mayor states (with hope) the talks with the NBA will move forward even though the main business of the league (the season) is not only on “hold” but in extremely dire straits.  My view?  During all of the previous stoppages or threatened stoppages either by players or the owners, or even both, the situation has never gotten so murkilly dirty.  I have sincere doubts that discussions that involve the league about any issue (arena, tickets, players, staff, costs, shares, wuteva) will not go well for the time being.

The thought of discussions about an arena where the league itself has assumed the spot of the team opwners (this is the Kings situation) should scare everyone.  Props to Mayor KJ for keeping a positive attitude, but  my god…..

“Johnson issued a statement reiterating his intention to build an arena for  sports, concerts and other events, regardless of whether the Sacramento  Kings play in it this year, or at any time.

“While like many others we hope that the NBA and the players are able to  come to an agreement, our focus has always been that this facility is more than  just a professional basketball arena but rather, similar to what has taken place  in Kansas City, an entertainment and sports complex that will generate economic  activity and create jobs,” the mayor wrote.”

Read more at the link and good luck Mayor!!

October 28th:

More arena news, this time maybe good??  At the link read about a new law regarding development projects that may help Sacramento’s efforts to build a new arena.

“California Senate President Darrell Steinberg said today he had California’s  economic welfare in mind, not just downtown Sacramento’s desire for a sports and  entertainment complex, when he recently pushed a new law allowing some large  projects to move forward more quickly.”

November 9th:

Not much public news about the arena.

This Sacramento Bee reporter had an article 2 weks ago saying he thought the NBA tactics of canceling games and threatening to dump the season was good for  the opportunities for a new Kings arena.

I disagree and could not post that crap here.

Well, today, with the season in extremely dire circumstances, Breton seems to be scared.  Now he is saying he thinks the tactics threaten a new arena and I agree.

Read it at the link.

November 10th:

Is AEG the Savior for Sacramento, the Kings and a new Arena??

AEGs leader is Christian evangelical billionaire Phillip Anschutz who is touted as the savior of downtown Los Angeles.

Certainly he got an arena financed and built and brought businesses along with it.

Anschutz also has made tons of money, gutted some California State environmental laws, supported President George W Bush and almost single-handedly funded Colorado’s anti-gay ballot measure plus runs hiw own right-wing public-service group.

So you get the good along with the strangely evil.

Quite a combination.  When you have no $$$ (i.e., the City, the County, the State and the Maloofs) do you really want to turn that CD/DVD player on so you can dance with that rickety ol’ devil?

AEG bullied a couple of bills thru the California Legislature.  “The most contentious point is that (SB292 which everyone calls “The AEG Bill”) allows AEG to bypass the California Superior Court and bring all CEQA lawsuits and challenges in front of the court of appeals.”

This bill (and others) was passed to help AEB build its Los Angeles Football Stadium, Farmers Field.

A few days ago it was reported in the Sacramento Bee that California Senate President Pro Tem (a friend) helped push thru this and AB900 which would allow Governor Brown to hand-pick a couple of very big public developments ($100s of millions) and allow them to basically walk thru the process.

And, “yes, possibly even infill projects like the proposed Kings arena in Sacramento’s downtown rail yards.”

The Sacramento rail yards are such an excellent site for the citys development and we need to move forward expeditiously.  It is really the only spot for a new arena.  And what a great spot for a stadium anyone?  And bars and restaurants and homes and apartments and shopping malls.  And the new city transportation hub:  heavy rail, light rail, buses and streetcars.

And, yes the rail yard can hold it all and the right development mix can sustain it all.

But there are environmental issues and we cannot afford to ignore them and just build on top of them.  Our people are more ikmportant than that.

Spend the money.  Do it right.  Then make a few billion dollars.

Think Big Sacramento selected a local man as their of the citizen architect design competition.

Troy Bedal of Roseville won for his idea of a Walk of Fame. It features engraved bricks for people and organizations that helped make the sports and entertainment complex a reality. Walls along the walkway would have busts of local heroes, including sports figures.”

Read the rest at the link above.

Good news or bad??  Power Balance, who took over naming rights at the demise of Arco Arena has filed for bankruptcy protection and settled a class-action lawsuit for some $57 Million.

Read the article at the link.  Some of this has been known and/or rumored for quite a while now, but as the article says the Power Balance signs were just erected on the Arena this summer, so it must be disappointing.

We maintain close communication with power balance and aware of their decision to file for voluntary protection available to them through the court. They have been good partners since day one and our understandably taking steps to put the company in a position to continue their innovation in the performance technology sector. They have assured their commitment to the Sacramento Kings and the surrounding community and we expect to continue our productive partnership through this process and into the future.”

More at the link above.

December 2nd:

Number crunchers have been counting parking spots for their part of contributing funding for arena constuction.  Yes, parking spaces.

Parking spaces in the city control because the plan site the arena in downtown Sacramento.

“…Sacramento officials have been banking on a plan to raise millions of dollars  for a new downtown sports arena by leasing city-owned parking spaces to a  private operator.”

And because Sacramento did not approve the “sdtrong” Mayor ordinance awhile back, our City Manager controls the counting and then the value of those spaces.

City Manager John Shirey told The Bee on Thursday that the assessed value of the  city’s parking facilities is lower than officials’ early “hopes or  expectations.” The recent estimates came from financial consultants at Bank  of America.
Read more at the link above.

What about the old (nee current) Arena?  Power Balance, as we have read above cotinues to have life even during, as well as after, the lockout.

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*****Overseas and Other Options*****

Will Kings Players Go Overseas?

It is hard to guess and really depends on the status of negotiations (see above on that).

October 21st:

So here we go!  With the negotiations with the Federal Negotiator in the room having fall apart—I think the floodgates opened.

For the Kings it starts with a player that is on the team but none of us have seen in a kings uniform (yet).  JJ Hickson.

Today it is announced that Hickson has signed to play in Israel during the lockout.  I understand people signing oveseas.  You play ball, you cannot play ball here, you are not getting paid, you don’t want to sit on your butt and you have teams from elsewhere offering you deals.

So Hickson will go and my guess is that others will follow.  Quickly.

November 11th:

Well, my guess was wrong.  I often am.  But then again, JJ Hickson only lasted one game in Israel.  He was not the first American B-Ball player to go to Israel and return home after just one game though, right Trevor Booker??

I wonder why?  Oh, yes Mr Booker got hurt.  Mr Hickson just got his feelings hurt??

Maybe AJ Mitnick’s piece will shed some light.  Listen to the full audio  at the link, or at least read the quotes below, and remember:  Hickson is very far away from being a NBA “star” (except, perhaps, in his own mind).

As with many players who were McDonalds All-Americans who went on to be first-round picks as teenagers, Hickson only knows a lifestyle of luxury. It is difficult for a player who has been praised and coddled his whole life to travel across the world to play in a gym that may be the size of a high school gym, for a team with less than ten men working on the basketball staff, and with a per diem that consists of a bottle of water and a chicken sandwich.

There is no one to get your rebounds during a shoot around (unless you ask me nicely!), no one to carry your bags to the bus, and no state-of-the-art practice facility.”

Will players return from overseas?

Well we have one player returning now:  Forward Trevor Booker from the Washington Wizards went to Israel to play during the lockout.  Now he is returning after an injury.  Fortunately it does not appear to be a significant injury.

Booker has a thigh bruise and will return to the U.S. to be checked by his own doctor and “begin the rehabilitation process.”

How scary it mnust be for the player to suffer any injury so far from home.

How scary it must be for the team and the coaches to hear a player has been injured during this lockout and so far away.  And of course the fears of his family and the fans.

This an interesting injury and story for a few reasons including this one:  Booker will be replaced on the team by…..J.J. Hickson.

All of those questions remain unanswered.  Rumors suck, but some will probably wind up here.

“Booker is the second Wizard to get hurt during the lockout, with restricted free agent Othyus Jeffers tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during a workout in July. Jeffers told the Washington Examiner that he was unsure when he would be able to return, but the injury generally requires a six-to-nine month rehabilitation process. “

November 20th:

With the lockout having moved into competing lawsuits and court morass, additions to this post will consist mostly of items about players overseas.

Players now are kind of stuck.  Overseas teams have limits on the number of NBA players they can carry and the seasons have mostly already started.

That said, Draft Express carries an accurate and updated page of stats for players who ARE playing overseas.

They track players who had minutes last season (2010/2011) in thew NBA and get minutes in 2011/2012 in various leagues overseas.

The Draft Express link is HERE

There are an awful lot of “one-minute wonder” players out there aren’t there??

November 25th:

Our Thanksgiving gift was from  Tyreke Evans who signed with Virtus Roma.  If I went overseas Italy would be the place.  France=OK but Italy I might not come home for a long while.  Just for the food.

Reke does have an NBA “out” which allows him to come home if the lockout ends.  Read it and weep at this link.

And how does David Stern keep setting deadlines and issuing ultimatums that get ignored and he goes on TV and on Twitter and acts like he is still the man?

I don’t get how he doesn’t see how badly he has performed during this and why he is not totally embarassed??  Unless the goal all along was just to play out the string and then cancel the seasdon.  If that was the idea, Stern did a great job.

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Free Agents & Rookie Signings

December 3rd: 

The Kings are the frontrunner to sign Houston free-agent F Chuck Hayes, originally from Modesto California.

Not a player I would be interested in but short-term front-line defense….I dunno??  More at the link above.

December 3rd:

Rumor is that Thornton is sought by “4 or 5 teams” ncluding New Orleans.  I’m sure he is.  With a high average in less than half a season in Sacramento will boost his view to execs at (almost) just the right time.  He is a Restricted FA this season, so unless the Kings want him to leave he is staying in Sacramento.

So the questions become:

  • are there teams that just want to make an offer sheet & see the Kings match it?
  • are there teams that will make an offer and have a sign-an-trade in mind?

He will get a lot of looks, as he should.  He may be more valuable to other teams than to the Kings.  Thornton fit right in after Evans’ injury.  Now Evans is healthy and Jimmer is in town.  Minutes available to thornton will probably go down.

Read the article here.

December 5th:

The Bee reports the Kings are ready to make offers to Dalembert and Thornton.

The Kings contacted the agents for guard Marcus Thornton and center Samuel Dalembert last week and will look to reach agreements with both this week in time for training camp Friday.

Thornton and Dalembert have drawn a lot of interest, but the Kings have an advantage in retaining both.

Dalembert is an unrestricted free agent, and the Kings have about $25 million under the salary cap to use in offering him a contract that would be worth more than contenders over the salary cap could offer.

Thornton is a restricted free agent. If a team signs Thornton to an offer sheet, the Kings will have three days to match it and retain him.”
Read more at the link.

December 6th:

Read this article about Rumors, Free Agents and Deals that can help the Kings return to the playoffs this year, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2006.

The Arena sponsor, Power Balance, may be leaving.  Power Balance is going thru some legal difficulties including an apparent auctioning off as part of a court settlement for bankruptcy.

Read all about it at the link above.  Hard to say if this is good or bad.  The Kings lose some money today but they then have an opening that they could also attach to the new Arena.

And here are some interesting possibilities for Arena names based on some of our well-known local businesses!

The Kings will host the Lakers in the opener.

The Lakers won’t look quite the same during this visit. Coach Phil Jackson  retired, former Cleveland coach Mike Brown took his place, and center Andrew Bynum will be serving a five-game suspension for  body-slamming Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the playoffs. But Kobe Bryant returns for what figures to be another memorable  performance, and ex-Kings forward Ron Artest makes his first Sacramento appearance as Metta  World Peace. “
More at the link.

December 7th:

On Pearl Harbor Day, thank you to all of our WW II Veterans and their families for your service.

The Kings are considering how to spend the money they have under the cap to bring on some veterans in addition to their own FAs and rookies.

The team has plenty of cap space just to get up to the new minimum teams are required to spend.

The article states The Kings need to spend about $17 million in salary this season to reach the  minimum salary floor, and are approximately $25 million under the $58 million salary cap.

Now, I understand teams are not always completely upfront about money and their intentions, but saying they are some “25 to 58 million” below the cap is amusing.  It’s like me saying I made an error in my checkbook somewhere between $280 to $5,080….it’s that last missing 30 mill that will kill ya guys.

I think Dalembert will be gone.  Without the lockout maybe they would have had a chance, but teams have had a lot of time to think and lottery teams that did not draft or trade for a “C’ will have renewed interest in Dalembert because he played well when the team won some games late last season.  Always helps your bottom line to play well when yourt team wins.

Which means the Kings need another center and since getting Nene or even Gasol are about nil,  Chandler would be great, I don’t see it happening.  And this article mentions Guard JJ Barrea as a possible pick-up, that would be nice but I’m sure Dallas will try hard to hold onto their team.

But the bigger issues are the need for the coach to get it in his head that players need a settled rotation.  People need to know what their role is.  What do I contribute to the team?  They need some stability in their minutes and their role in the team’s rotation.

I don’t care if it is Dalembert or Nene…the issue is the same.  Is  coach listening??

December 8th:

Updates:  Jersey numbers

JJ Hickson will wear #31 for the Kings, and

John Salmons will wear #5 in his second go round as a Sacramento King.

Chuck Hayes may not make it to a Guard spot with the Kings as the Minnesota Timberwolves are in hot pursuit and according to Hayes the Kings & Wolves are “neck to neck”.

NBA League business opens tomorrow (December 9th), and with the shortened time for trades, signings, FAs, team staffing and for the Kings to get up at least to the league minimum on team salaries–we could have a whirlwind month!!!

And checkout the new Back in Black jerseys for the Kings HERE.  Sweet!!!

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