Kings make quite a spectacle

If you like sausage, don’t go to a sausage factory. If you like basketball, go to a playground and shoot some baskets. Find a gym and play pickup ball. Go watch the upcoming high school playoffs where the kids play their hearts out, and fans display a delightful enthusiasm. Stick close to the heart of the game, and you won’t be disappointed.

Keep your distance from pro basketball. It’s a business with all the charm of an assembly line  sausage factory grinding up meat to make a profit. Watch the highlight films and marvel at the astounding athleticism of the athletes. Check out the playoffs to see the best players in the world going all out for victory. But don’t make any emotional investment in the team or its stars. They’ll dump you like a trophy wife when something more enticing comes along. Just as bad, you’ll have to listen to the done-me-wrong song from local politicians who couldn’t ante up enough of the public’s money to satisfy the greed of the team’s owners. You’ll have to put up with the nonsense of Chamber of Commerce types and  media shills who confuse the team’s departure with the Great Depression.

Yes, indeed, the Sacramento Kings and their whiny enablers bring out my negative side. The wall of silence thrown up by the owners, the Maloof family, as they try to make a deal with the city of Anaheim shows as much class as LeBron James’ TV show to announce his departure from Cleveland. Instead of some respect for the fans who supported them  financially and emotionally through hard times, these folks display their cold, cold hearts.

Unfortunately, this jangling country song won’t end shortly. The team is asking the National Basketball Association for an extension of the league’s March 1 deadline for asking permission to move to a new city this year, the Sacramento Bee reported today. Mayor Kevin Johnson said he was upset that he had to hear the news via Google alert rather than from the Kings themselves, the paper said. “Sacramento deserves better than this,” Johnson said.

Maybe loyal Kings’ fans deserve better.  But the city, its business elite and  major developers have been in bed with the Kings since the early 1980s. The team has been a money-making tool far beyond Arco Arena for the big boys. It’s been an unseemly spectacle – like watching sausage being made.

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