Are the Kings leaving Sacramento?

Per SPORTSbyBROOKS, quoting ESPN 710 host Jon Ireland:

“The people I have talked to in the NBA have told me that the Kings are going to be forced to move. They are not, especially in that political climate, going to get a new arena. No matter what the mayor says, no matter what the Maloofs say. Most of the people close to the team have told me they will try everything humanly possible to stay in Sacramento but that it’s not in the cards.

“I don’t know if Anaheim would happen, that would put three teams within 50 miles of each other, highly unlikely. But Kansas City has a new Anschutz (managed) arena, that’s a very likely possibility … and Seattle would like to get the Sonics back. You’re looking at maybe 3-5 more seasons in Sacramento and then after they’re going to have to find a place to play.”

It’s funny what winning will do for your attendance. Remember how Sacramento had one of the most rocking arenas in the NBA? Back when Chris Webber, Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic had the Kings in the title hunt, the Kings sold out every game. In fact, as recently as the 2006-07 season (when the Kings were 33-49), attendance figures show 100 percent of seats sold. Sure, they were probably sold out from the previous season, when the Kings had 44 wins, but that’s pretty good fan loyalty.

Last season, the Kings averaged 12,571 fans, or 72.6 percent of capacity. It’s pretty clear that the city of Sacramento can support a NBA team if that team is decent. Since the team isn’t going to suddenly get better in a different city, I’m not sure that moving is the answer. It will probably come down to getting a new arena, which looks like a long shot in Sacramento. If the Kings move and are still terrible, they’ll be running into the same problem in five or ten more years, in Anaheim, Kansas City, Seattle, or wherever they land.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

How much better off would the Blazers be had they drafted Durant instead of Oden?

No one can fault the job that Portland GM Kevin Pritchard has done so far. In 2005, when he was the Blazers’ interim coach, he reportedly advised then-GM John Nash and Steve Patterson to draft Chris Paul at #3, but the duo instead decided to trade the pick and ended up with Martell Webster at #6. He was promoted to assistant GM in 2006, and was involved in a series of deals that resulted in the acquisition of the draft rights of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. In 2007, he was promoted to general manager. That summer, in addition to drafting Greg Oden, he turned Zach Randolph into a trade exception that he used to steal Rudy Fernandez from the Phoenix Suns.

Other than an ill-advised threat to sue anyone that tried to sign Darius Miles, it’s tough to second-guess anything that Pritchard has done in Portland.

But what if he had drafted Kevin Durant instead of Greg Oden? How much better off would the franchise be with Durant on the roster?

Read the rest of this entry »

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

At the end of the year, it’s always interesting to look back at all that has happened in the world of sports over the last 12 months. 2008 brought us a host of compelling sports stories, including the culmination of the Patriots’ (unsuccessful) quest for perfection, a Bejing Olympics that featured incredible accomplishments by the likes of Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and the Redeem Team, and, of course, Brett Favre’s unretirement, which managed to hold the sports news cycle hostage for a solid month or more.

As is our tradition, we’ve once again broken our Year End Sports Review into three sections. The first is “What We Learned,” a list that’s packed with a number of impressive feats. And when there are feats, inevitably there are also failures.

Don’t miss the other two parts: “What We Already Knew” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

The New England Patriots weren’t so perfect after all.

After rolling through the 2007 regular season unscathed, the Patriots entered the 2008 Super Bowl as overwhelming favorites to roll over the pesky, but seemingly inferior New York Giants. The Pats were just one win away from staking their claim as the best football team in NFL history. But thanks to a dominating Giants’ defensive line, an improbable catch by David Tyree, and a virtually mistake-free performance by Eli Manning, the unbeatable New England Patriots were beat. It’ll go down as one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, and considering Tom Brady’s season-ending injury in 2008 cost the Pats a chance for redemption, it seems that many have forgotten how New England stood just one win away from perfection. – Anthony Stalter

Michael Phelps is part fish.

Eight gold medals in one Olympiad? No problem. Michael Phelps made the seemingly impossible look (relatively) easy en route to one of the most – if not the most – impressive Olympic performances ever. Phelps had to swim all four strokes, compete in both sprint and endurance races, and deal with the constant media attention and pressure that came along with his quest. Sure, NBC turned up the hype, but what Phelps accomplished is simply incredible. – John Paulsen

Usain Bolt is part cheetah.

First, Usain Bolt made Jamaica proud by setting a new world record (9.69) in the 100-meter sprint. Then, he broke the 12 year-old 200-meter world record with a time of 19.30 seconds. He showboated during the first race but cleaned up his act to win the second race in a professional manner. Some even say that Usain Bolt – not Michael Phelps – was the biggest story to come out of the Bejing Olympics. – JP

The Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the nation.

The Big 12 housed some of the best quarterbacks in all of college football in 2008. Texas’s Colt McCoy, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Missouri’s Chase Daniel and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell were all considered Heisman candidates at least at one point during the season, while McCoy and Bradford are still in the running. Amazingly, Bradford and McCoy aren’t done; both will return in 2008. And although they don’t receive as much attention as the top signal callers in the conference, Kansas’s Todd Reesing and Baylor’s Robert Griffin certainly turned heads this year as well. In fact, the highly versatile Griffin is only a freshman and could make the Bears a very dangerous team for years to come. – AS


Read the rest after the jump...

Related Posts