April 13, 2011RATTO ARCHIVE
KINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEO
The idea of Charles Barkley and Chris Webber buying the Sacramento Kings is so delicious, so exciting and so utterly preposterous that it should happen, at least in one parallel universe. A universe, we can all agree, that we should be able to at least visit, since it wont be happening in the one we currently inhabit.It seems that the fellows were giving the Maloof brothers, Chip and Dale, a right hiding for turning the Kings into a slick unlit hairpin turn in the NBA autobahn on Inside The NBA last night, and in doing so, they announced that they would buy the Kings.
This promptly induced two thoughts:1. With whose money will they be performing this act of mercy?And 2. Do those two erudite and charming gentlemen realize that theres the sale price, and then theres the debt load, and then theres the arena money, and then theres the investors to jolly up, and that 300 million turns into 800 awfully fast?NEWS: Kings finale feels like farewell for Sacramento
And then a third question leaped up: Do they understand that TNT will put contracts out on their lives for blowing up the best show on television? There are only so many Bones re-runs you can show before people start noticing.In short, if they can do this, great. But they cant do this. You know it. I know it. Sacramento knows it. Hell, even they know it. I mean, Ernie Johnsons face went all Celtic green when he heard them say it, because he knew they were already covetously eyeing his portfolio:Cmon, Ernie, you know you want to. You can have your section: Ernies Straight Men. Itll be fun. Besides, you dont want to work with backup versions of us, do you? Oh, and do you have Kenny Smiths Twitter account?Give them credit, though, for making the Maloof boys feel uncomfortable. The Maloofs were heroes in Sacramento when they bought the team from Gregg Luginbill and equally unmoneyed partners, and they stayed heroes until their other businesses tanked, and they couldnt get a new downtown arena, and the Kings got swindled in that playoff game with the Lakers, and like that there.RELATED: Is there enough room for 3 NBA teams in L.A?
Then they became public enemies. And if Barkley and Webber become the new faces of the franchise, they will really be yesterdays news.But the backhand that is relocating their jaws right now is the same backhand that will land on Barkley and Webber when they discover what it will take to revivify the Monarchy (as opposed to the Monarchs, which is another story entirely). Presumably the sale price will be north of the current Forbes valuation of 293M. But for arguments sake, lets say they make it work at 300M for purposes of math. They will now have a bad team, in an aging arena, on the outskirts of Bend, Oregon, in a state that is so much more broke than the Maloofs that they make the Maloofs look like Monte Carlo.And the City of Sacramento, which already has Kevin Johnson as mayor, does not have Kevin Johnsons money to play with, either. In short, its a broke team in a broke city in a broke state, and only enormous amounts of money, energy, spirit and money will change its fortunes.Put it this way. If the team costs 300M, the arena is going to run another 500M after all, you have to include the spiraling cost of graft. And in case you havent noticed, America is running out of billionaires with money bursting from their couches.Unless, of course, Larry Ellison, who was bearded out of the Warrior sale by Chris Cohans desperate desire never to sell to him, decides that he could do this team instead. Hes got money on money.He also has enough ego that he could do this without Barkley and Webber, and even if he wanted them for the sake of camaraderie, he doesnt want them around to make actual decisions. And one did not get the feeling last night that Chas. and C-Webb wanted to buy the Kings to be silent partners.Thus, the story that the Maloofs may not have the owner votes to leave Sactown, while gratifying, doesnt actually bell the cow, which is, Who wants a ball team?Charles Barkley and Chris Webber do. But their wanting it is about as useful as saying I want it. I mean, it would be fun and all, but Im a little short right now. Its tax day, got kids in school, and I only have so much bone marrow, blood and organs to sell.And so, with all due respect to the fellas and their fervor in the cause, do CharlesnChris. I mean, theres money, and then theres money, yknow?
April 13, 2011RATTO ARCHIVE