In a complete change of direction, fans are now organizing a unique rally to send a message to the NBA and to the owners of the Sacramento Kings.
The event, titled "Lockout Love-In to Screw the Maloofs," is a demonstration to show David Stern and the league that Sacramento fully supports a lockout next season.
More than 10,000 fans are expected to show up on the front lawn of Gavin Maloof's palatial Natomas home in order to voice their desire to see a lockout.
"If we can't have basketball here next year," said one fan, "we sure as hell don't want there to be basketball in Anaheim. This is a very constructive and emotionally satisfying way of saying 'suck it, Maloofs.' ''
With all signs pointing to a move to Anaheim, Kings fans are coming together in hopes of seeing the Maloof brothers sitting in an idle Honda Center next season.
"Sure, it's sour grapes," said another irate fan. "But look, they dismantled our team for the last five years, cut payroll to the bone, and expected us to keep paying our hard-earned money to watch guys like Luther Head. Plus, they wanted us to finance a new arena so they could get more luxury boxes. Luxury boxes? When the hell was I gonna sit in a luxury box? I can barely afford one of their freakin' Royal Shawarma plates."
Many of the potential "Love-In" organizers believe the Maloofs have been planning this move for years and wanted to drain the energy from the Sacramento faithful to make their move look less distasteful.
"Yeah, Arco is no prize," said another fan, "but we would have filled the joint if they had kept a winning product out there. And they have never been active in the efforts to build an arena. They always just sat back and said almost nothing."
A lockout would put the Maloofs in a precarious financial situation. Their business empire is already crumbling and the move to Anaheim is widely perceived as an effort to bolster their bottom line.
Organizers are asking fans to bring locks of every size and shape. "Bring a padlock or a bicycle lock and scream like a maniac," said the event's organizer, a well-known radio personality who wants to remain anonymous. "Our fondest hope is that the NBA labor strife wipes out next season and maybe more. We're bitter. And we want to show it."