Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grading the major players in the Sacramento-Seattle duel to the death

The saga is close to over.  It looks like a happy ending for Sacramento.  So let's look at the major players in this death duel and grade them.  Grades are based on their power, instincts, and overall effectiveness:

Vivek Ranadive: Silicon Valley titan came out of nowhere to bring big bucks and a big brain to the ownership group.  His tech knowledge and ties to India made a difference. A

Kevin Johnson:  The Mayor put himself firmly in position to be the state's next governor with an over-the-top P.R. performance and the ability to bring together a coalition of heavy hitters.  A+

George Maloof: The failed casino owner pushed his older brothers, Joe and Gavin, aside and took control.  He did manage to wrangle an eye-popping offer from the Seattle group, but his obstinance to selling to Sacramento buyers will ruin his reputation forever.  No chance he'll be invited to Gold Rush Days anytime soon. D-

Joe and Gavin Maloof:  Missing in action.  The faces of the Kings ownership for the last decade went silent.  You have to believe that they weren't onboard totally with George's shenanigans.  C-

Carmichael Dave: If you were going to follow one person on Twitter, Super Dave was the one.  His relentless defense of the team, inside knowledge, and troll hunting made him a favorite for Kings fans with a need for solace.  My bet:  He's working for Ranadive in a year.  A

Chris Hansen: The impossibly rich face of the Seattle group had plenty of money but almost zero in terms of public relations skills.  He let Sacramento control the narrative, offering nothing to the hungry press.  He did manage to throw the occasional firecracker into the teapot by relentlessly upping his offer, but he didn't seem to understand where the NBA was headed. B-

David Stern: The NBA puppeteer, er, commissioner basically held Sacramento's hand and waltzed them down the aisle, much to chagrin of Seattle fans.  What were his motives?  Does he hate Seattle?  Was he making it up to Sacramento fans for that rigged game in the 2002 playoffs?  Doesn't really matter, does it? B+

Grant Napear: The KHTK broadcaster went from chief flunky to head cheerleader with a dizzying 180-degree turn.  Napear certainly supported the sale enthusiastically for the past two months, but nobody will forget how much water he carried for the Maloofs over the past two years. You just can't shake the feeling that he was celebrating more keeping his job than keeping the Kings. Guess you can't fault him for that.  B-

Friday, May 10, 2013

How the NBA can solve this dilemma with one simple stipulation

The poker game is on.  Oh, it is so on.

Chris Hansen and the Seattle group just took a tractor filled with cash and pushed it to the center of table.

The Maloofs sit on the sidelines, drooling, as they await to see just how big a windfall they can get for dismantling a franchise and alienating an entire fanbase.

And now some people say the NBA is in a pickle.  How can the league turn their backs on that much cash?  Hansen knows that everyone has their price.

So what to do?

Well, if Chris Hansen wants to buy the Kings, let him buy it.

The NBA should let the sale go through.

With one important stipulation:

The team stays in Sacramento and no other vote on relocation could take place for at least five years.

Would Hansen want to own the Kings and have them play in Sacramento for the next five years?  Is he that patient?

Call the bluff.  Hell, make it 10 years before a relocation vote could be taken again.  See what Hansen does then. Because it sure seems like the Seattle group is going to take this battle to the courts if it gets shut out.

Why not take away his ammunition?  Give him the team.  And give him Sacramento.  For years and years and years.

I'd like Chris Hansen as owner of the Sacramento Kings.  He's got deep pockets and doesn't seem to mind writing very large checks.  Could he stand to lose at a crappy arena for half a decade or more.  Would he do an arena deal with Kevin Johnson?

Let's find out.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Twitter Wars Heat Up: On the frontline with Bruski, Carmichael Dave and Breton

One of the fascinating aspects of this entire Sacramento-Seattle death duel has been the Twitter wars between media members.

It must be a sign of the times when people air their dirty laundry in public without a hint of shame.  Maybe it's reality TV.  Maybe it's the feeling of being completely connected to the world 24 hours a day.  But people love to let it rip on Twitter.

For those not keeping score, let's catch up with what our Top Area Twitter Warriors have been up to over the past few days.

Aaron Bruski

Twitter handle: @aaronbruski

Media job: Well-sourced NBA writer who frequently appears on,, Yahoo! and other places.

Main nemesis:  All those who question his veracity, truthiness and patriotism.  Had a surprising flame-throwing war with mild-mannered writer Scott Howard-Cooper in recent weeks.

Most fun recent tweets:

To ESPN business writer Darren Rovell...

@DARRENROVELL this concludes me owning you for today. Next time you send me a douchey DM just realize you're not that good.

Bruski also engaged in a little vitriole against SB Nation after his name was dragged through the mud on the Sonics Rising blog.

SB Managing Editor has zero clue what his company is publishing, defamation included, and responds by telling me to get off my high horse.

Carmichael Dave

Twitter handle: @carmichaeldave

Media job: Super fan for Kings, sometimes garage internet radio broadcaster, RV driver.

Main Nemesis: Seattle trolls and anyone who questions his undying allegiance to former radio pal Grant Napear.  Has very unkind words for Bay Area personality Ric Bucher, who has been undeniably wrong every step of the way on the Kings.

Most fun recent tweets:

To former KHTK broadcaster Jim Kozimor, who didn't think much of Dave's cozy relationship with Grant...

@CSNKOZ DUDE. You said I'm sucking up?? You back off guy. I give you credit non stop, and I stay out of the you vs. Grant stuff. Why the issue?

Dave and Koz went toe-to-toe for awhile, but Koz landed with this Twitter reply:

@CARMICHAEL DAVE: back down little man.  Don't take shots at me.  Who put you on and nurtured your career? Vs. who made fun of you?  Stand down.

Marcos Breton

Twitter handle: @marcosbreton

Media job: Condescending Sacramento Bee columnist (and the only one worth reading), whose main focus constantly ends up on his favorite topic - himself.

Main nemesis: Almost anyone who questions his all-knowing authority.  Seems to take great joy in evangelizing about his weight loss (c'mon, you fatties, I did it, so can you) and bragging about how many Twitter followers he has blocked (full disclosure - I'm one of them)

Most fun recent tweets:

Here's one of the best humble brags in recent Sacramento history, from Monday...

@HOFFA77 Yup, blocked.  Last night I blocked 14 Maloof memes and insult hurling people.  I picked up 30 new followers.  It really works.

A little while later came this one.  He's taking no prisoners. You've all been warned...

@ALLBENJAMENS @STOCKTANIAN I've blocked about 25 guys in the last 24 hours, all for annoying me.  How much more clear can I be?

Marcos also had a bit of spat with Carmichael Dave.  Seems he's holding a little grudge about how KHTK treated him in the the past...

@CARMICHAEL DAVE Let's not pretend that Napear, you, the Rise Guys, Kozimor, Lamb, everyone on KHTK wasn't ripping me for the ? the Maloofs for yrs.

Final full disclosure:  I am ready, willing and able to have a Twitter war of my very own, but my 87 or so followers don't exactly constitute a viable audience.  But if unblock me, Marcos, I'd be proud if you called me a pompous arrogant ass.