ESPN 710 host and Lakers broadcaster John Ireland said yesterday that “people close to the team” told him that it “isn’t in the cards” for the Kings to stay in Sacramento and that the team eventually is “going to be forced to move” by the NBA. Ireland made his comments on the Mason and Ireland Show before he broadcast the Kings-Lakers game in Vegas last night.
(NBA’s soon-to-be newest throwback line?)
Ireland on KSPN-AM in Los Angeles:
“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.”
That all certainly flies in the face of the rah-rah rhetoric coming from community leaders and the Maloofs at the moment. If the Kings stay in Sacramento five more years without a new arena, that’d mean the Maloofs would have spent over decade trying to find a facility solution. I don’t think they’ll last in Sacto that long.
I’m from Kansas City and was a senior in high school when the K.C. Kings left under dubious circumstances. I’d love to see the team come back 25 years later, that’d be a gas. Though most of the yocal Cowtown media wants an NHL team instead of the NBA. (That doesn’t mean they represent majority sentiment.)
K.C. would also have a great built-in rivalry with Oklahoma City.
With AEG President Tim Leiweke making very clear that Sprint Center can’t afford to stay empty much longer, I think you will see the Kings move to KC as soon as next season - as the Maloofs are aware they may end up getting beat there by another NHL/NBA club if they wait.