The NBA does what the NBA does, protect its own
This was a rise like a Phoenix.
The NBA’s decision yesterday to deny a relocation bid from Sacramento to move the Kings to Seattle ends – probably – one of the longest dragged out sagas of recent times.
And says a lot about what the league’s priorities are with its franchises.
We will forget for a second the personal choice because anyone who would pick Sacramento over Seattle given the choice would have to have her or his head examined, the cities are nowhere close to each other in that regard.
But the NBA has always said it wasn’t a Seattle issue; it was a Sacramento issue and if the people there could come up with a way to keep the team, it would stay, despite the stated intentions of the owners.
The NBA has always taken pride in its abilities to keep smaller market franchises operating, it structures its collective bargaining agreements to make that possible, it shares revenue to make that possible, it’s why teams in relatively tiny markets like San Antonio, Memphis, Charlotte, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Minnesota and, yes, Sacramento find a level of “protection” in situations such as these.
(That said, watch for Milwaukee to be the next “target” because there are some issues there)
So when the civic leaders in Sacramento – and Mayor Kevin Johnson being a former NBAer who knew the landscape pretty well sure helped – found a way to get a buyer and do an arena deal, it was pretty much a no-brainer that the team would stay there.
I didn’t think – and a lot of people didn’t think – that Sacramento could do it, we’d been down the road towards a new arena and different ownership so many times it became almost a running joke.
But when they got it all together, I don’t think there was much doubt that the team would stay, it’s how the NBA – and commissioner David Stern – operates.
And, yes, there have been franchises that have moved – Vancouver and Charlotte come quickly to mind – but there was always an issue in those cities like ownership that precluded them staying. And we know that Stern considers the loss of Vancouver as one of the great failings of his era.
Seattle? Sorry it didn’t work out – sorry like you can’t imagine – but when it comes time to expand in the next three or four years, you know they’re at the top of the list.
Not entirely sure why this popped into the head but it did.
Now I want to go somewhere where the guy cooks food at your table.
So one of theories being espoused by some of us who chat daily about this whole Colangelo matter is kind of intriguing to me.
I will preface this by saying I have no clue if it it’s true, it’s just been chatter between me and some friends and colleagues, but we wonder if Leiweke might not be clandestinely interviewing replacement candidates while he lets Bryan dangle.
I wasn’t sure what I thought of that chance; the immediate reaction was I didn’t seem to be a respectful thing to do by anyone, the guy doing the interviewing or the people being interviewed for a job that’s not open.
But wise sages with a knowledge of high end HR stuff – the kind of stuff I have no real clue about – suggests that getting a short list, working quickly and discreetly might be more commonplace than I thought.
The things you learn …
Okay, you’ve done well on the mail so far, my good friends, but there’s always room for more.
And since I should have a fair amount of down time during a long day in the gym watching kids do drills (sounds delightful, no?) the firstname.lastname@example.org place is open for business.
I find a saloon close to the hotel here with a lot of TVs (yeah, I’m like a Grunt Lewis and Clark) to settle in and watch Bulls-Heat.
But it’s also Blackhawks-Red Wings in the pucks and it was a pretty interesting night.
The TVs were split about 40-40 on the hoops-pucks with some baseball on the other 20 per cent (yeah, saw TOD go nuts, again); the Bulls started early so the sound from that game was blaring.
After the first half of the hoops, the sound went on the pucks, when that period of the pucks finished the sound went back on the basketball, end of third quarter of the Bulls sound when back to Hawks, end of that period it was back to the basketball until the game ended.
Hadn’t seen that before (probably because I don’t think there was television the last time two Toronto teams were in the playoffs at the same time) and it was interesting to see that the crowd was split about half and half.
Saw a bunch of Blackhawks jerseys (it would appear this Toews bloke is popular) and a fair number of Bulls shirts.
Must be nice, eh, to live in a city with such sporting riches.
Some people …
This is named to the dude in the golf hat at Pearson yesterday.
Yeah I walked by you because you were lollygagging and dilly-dallying before we walked in the Customs hall and, yep, I got one spot ahead of you.
If you’re going to go all passive-aggressive behind me with sotto voce comments like “I guess you can just walk by people” and “I thought the line was behind us” if I turn around and say “Sir, is there a problem?” don’t turn and stare off into space.
Be a man and either talk or shut up in the first place.
Man, I hate some people.