Stern will get his way
It's going to be ugly, but the Kings will remain in Sacramento. Commissioner David Stern has made it clear he wants the franchise to remain there. And Stern usually gets what he wants. Plus, Stern has a strong working relationship with former NBA player and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Now, the Maloofs are reacting emotionally to a rare misstep by Johnson, an open letter blaming the Maloofs for the latest snags in the deal. The Maloofs have flirted with Anaheim before. They will again. Look for Stern to intercede and make sure what appeared to be a handshake deal gets consummated.
Stern can make sure the Maloofs and Johnson will return to the negotiating table. Just check the lockout for how Stern handles last-minute negotiations.
There are better options
You would think the city would be able to hold a team because the Kings are the only game in town. What else is there to do in Sacramento?
But, sadly, that's not the case. It's time for a change, and it's unlikely Sacramento will keep the team around. There are plenty of cities out there that could better support this franchise. How about Seattle? Or maybe the organization can hit the rewind button and go back to Kansas City?
Both are better choices and would easily be able to support an NBA team. Both have proven this in the past. In fact, it's a wonder why either city lost a team.
Bet on Anaheim
Los Angeles Times
The strongest advocate for keeping the Kings in Sacramento effectively threw up his hands in defeat Friday when NBA Commissioner David Stern said a new arena would not happen by opening night 2015, as planned.
So the most sound answer right now is no. There remains a possibility that an interested buyer seeking to keep the Kings in the city may emerge, but the most likely scenario is a move south to Anaheim's Honda Center.
The team would have access to a radius of fans in the 7 million range and be positioned to sign a far more lucrative regional television deal. Plus, Ducks owner and Honda Center operator Henry Samueli has previously expressed a willingness to cover relocation and other costs.
Shot clock ticking down
Sorry to be so provincial, but the city of Orlando and Magic fans don't realize just how lucky they are.
Orlando, you could be Sacramento, your NBA team teetering on the ledge of relocation.
Kings fans thought their city had miraculously found the funding for a new arena ...until it fell apart last week. The Maloof brothers, owners of the team, weren't happy with the finances of the deal (surprise, surprise) even though during All-Star weekend in Orlando, they shook hands on an agreement with the mayor of Sacramento, former NBA star Kevin Johnson.
Not even a pinkie swear stands up in negotiations these days. The shot clock is running on the Kings.