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-


DawgBert said...

This is simply the winner's doxology. The fact that Seattle was even considered for a move says their players did well. You also have to look past this one contest. Do you think the NBA owners and Commish are down on this potential Seattle ownership group?

Plus they were honest from the get-go. No "we want to buy the team and keep it in Sacramento", as what happened when Okla City stole the Sonics. No secret emails that told the truth that was the opposite of the public posturing.

Congrats to Sacramento for keeping the team. I think Kevin Johnson and Co. did a great job.

You will someday thank Seattle for that new arena, one that you couldn't get done before.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ron, good article. I disagree with your take on Grant. Give Grant an A. Sure, cheerleading is good, but he constantly gave us day by day happenings and gave VERY ACCURATE outcomes. Save his job, I think there are many markets that would have hired Grant very fast. So Ron, don't put yourself on a pedestal. I"m sure you gave yourself an A+.

Anonymous said...

Chris Hansen had a gag order from the NBA you fucking dolt. Gee maybe that is why he was so quiet??

Ron Wenig said...

Chris Hansen had a gag order? Who gagged him? David Stern? If he really went along with it, he deserves a lower grade.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous grade for Hansen. If you read the history of his involvement with the Sonics arena efforts, it's been textbook perfect. He spent $40M to aquire land for the arena, slowly worked through all the design and approval issues. And he made a strong effort to secure the Sacramento team once the Maloofs put it up for sale.

If you recall, there was no real Sacramento investor group in place when he made his bid. So to blast him for continuing to try until the end, rather than just roll over once Stern recruited Ranadive to bid for the Kings, is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I thought Grant deserved a better grade.

I totally agree with the Kevin Johnson comments.

Yes these are grades from a pro sac perspective. For Seattle folk, you have to at least be happy that you are on the board for a team.

I look at it this way for Seattle: The relo vote was 22-8. 1 of the 8 votes was from Joe Maloof, but the other 7 votes, in my mind came from owners who thought "hmmmmmm. I'd love to sell my team for $625 million and move them to Seattle or whereever. I'm voting yes, selling my team for top dollar to some new money billionaire, and getting the heck out of here."

June Gillam said...

Super job grading except for Grant--he was the glue that held us together, so at least an A- imho.

Ralph Frattura said...

Your tweets from the owners' meeting were hilarious.

Ron Wenig said...

Thanks, Ralph. Sometimes it's hard to know if anyone is paying attention to my idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Nice to be a gracious winner. Because Chris Hansen is admittedly uncomfortable in front of the camera no doubt put him at a disadvantage. I agree with another comment. You should probably be grateful to the Seattle group IF your new arena gets built. Someday the Sonics (1979 NBA Champs) will be back. So, $%$$# you Clay Bennett and David Stern. By the way, where is the $30 mil Clay now gets to pay Seattle?