Vivek Ranadive's Purchase of the Kings Is Bittersweet

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIMay 17, 2013

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors vice chairman Vivek Ranadive (left) talks to Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson (right) during the second quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Depending on who you ask, Vivek Ranadive's agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings (as reported by Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee) is either great or disgusting.

Obviously, those longing for an NBA team to return to Seattle will be in the latter group. On the flip side, Sacramento basketball fans are thrilled to have saved their team from the Emerald City.

At one time it seemed almost inevitable that the Kings franchise was destined to become the new Seattle Supersonics. Seattle investor Christopher Hansen had seemingly made Kings ownership an offer they wouldn't refuse.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll honors Hansen's efforts.

Through Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson's efforts, David Stern's interventions and NBA owners' votes, Sactown won.

As a basketball fan on the outside looking in, it is great to see Sacramento keep their team, but it is impossible not to feel for Sonics fans.

After all, they were in a predicament much like the Kings fans back in 2008. The Sonics faithful lost Kevin Durant and their team to Oklahoma City that year.

Bryan Wiedey aka Pasta Padre, producer of one of the top sports video game websites in the world and huge Seattle sports fan, tweeted this about Durantula.

Although DeMarcus Cousins isn't as lovable as a young Durant was for Sonics fans, the city still loves their Kings.

This is a battle where you really wish neither side had to lose. 

It is obvious both cities have the desire and interest level to support an NBA franchise. It is hard to see a fanbase suffer through the possibilities and realities of having their teams taken from them.

Inside Hoops is already noticing the Kings' popularity resurgence.

The Kings organization probably deserves their fate a little more. The Maloof family seemingly hasn't done much to make their team more marketable for the past five to seven years.

Sacramento has been in the bottom five in attendance every year since 2007. A poor on-court product is partially to blame—the Kings have missed the postseason seven years in a row.

In addition to that, the Sleep Train Arena (formerly the Arco Arena) is not ideal for high attendance numbers.

The building's capacity is only 17,317. To put that in perspective, 15 teams in the NBA averaged more than that per home game during the 2012-13 season.

Even with all of those facts supporting the neglect of the franchise, none of it is the fan's fault. The biggest losers in this scenario would have been them, just as was the case in Seattle in 2008.

Seattle nearly had an opportunity to heal their wounds, but it was cruelly snatched away from them. 

Perhaps expansion could give the city hopes in the future, but nothing is for certain. Hansen has vowed to continue the fight to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, but I wouldn't blame fans if they were less than optimistic the next time rumors surface.


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