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-