Thursday, January 17, 2013

Letter to the NBA: Losing Kings Would Be a BIG Mistake

Dear NBA,

I understand one of your franchises could be on the move. Although I agree that Seattle should have NBA basketball again, after tragically losing the Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008, I think it would be a slap in the face to the city of Sacramento to hijack the Kings for the purposes of replacing the Sonics.

I have fond memories of watching the Kings as a kid, who had such players as Chris Webber, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Vlade Divac, Hedo Turkoglu, and Peja Stojakovic, and came to within a game of making the NBA Finals in 2002. For a majority of my life, Arco Arena, or Sleep Train Arena as it is now called, has been the loudest arena in the league, and I am convinced that a newly proposed arena in Sac-town would bring much of the same fervor for the organization.

As a Knicks fan, I know what it means to have bad years. For 11 seasons, the Knicks struggled mightily with poor mismanagement in an effort to rebuild the franchise, and failed miserably, year after year. But Sacramento has been a very well-managed team in a small market, and has a promising future. It would be a disgrace to tear talented players like DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, and Jimmer Fredette away from the Sacramento fans, much like Kevin Durant and Nick Collison were taken away from Seattle, and relocated in Oklahoma City.

I was staunchly opposed to the NBA's relocation of the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis. I couldn't understand why there wasn't some way of maintaining organizations in cities that clearly want basketball teams, and simply expanding the league, as opposed to breaking the hearts of fans who had been loyal, even throughout losing seasons. In my opinion, it's never a wise business decision to sacrifice one market to build another, because that other market slowly drifts away. Sacramento, though a small market, is an important one. The black and purple jerseys have become a staple of the city of Sacramento and of the league. The city is a basketball destination for avid fans of the game.

Hopefully, Seattle will get the Sonics back. Fans there deserve a team just as much as anywhere, but making their fans happy at the expense of Sacramento fans is a mistake that will haunt the NBA for years to come. Please, Mr. Stern, rational minds of the league, Maloof Brothers, and Kevin Johnson, find a way to keep basketball in Sacramento for the best interest of the city, the game, and fans everywhere. Thanks for listening.


   David DeMaria, diehard Knicks fan and supporter of the Sacramento Kings