BASKETBALL CLUB, INC.

The Sacramento Kings are a very important franchise. It's the team that goes unnoticed.
Share |

Sacramento Kings co-owner Adrienne Maloof, with RHOBH co-star Kim Richards, follows her husband Paul through a swarm of very unhappy Sactown fans. [Image via]

I'm not sure if the generic beer, a white can with all-caps "BEER" stamped across it in industrial-strength typeface, is an urban legend, a Simpsons concoction, or something I glimpsed once while doing community service at a North Carolina recycling plant with the Boy Scouts. Regardless, it has become a useful touchstone for a decidedly square, and unhappy, kind of "no logo" branding. Marketing and image fall to shambles, and we're left with the possibility that BEER is the most attractive face one can put on the product; its most crass, and oblivious, associations masquerading as literalism.

So, as my friend and colleague David Roth likes to say in perpetuity, Sacramento Kings how u?

A week ago, the Kings got their sole nationally-televised game, a late Thursday tilt against the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder. It was basketball, but it was also civic. Sacramento is in the middle of one of those nasty arena spats; the OKC game was a chance to show the world that, indeed, these fans love their team and want them to stay. Mayor Kevin Johnson was on camera a lot. So were the Malooves, the very people threatening to relocate the franchise if they don't get a new building. Warring factions came together to convince each other, or at least the rest of the country, that there was no reason things shouldn't work out. Love, or at least the brokered pantomime of it, conquered all, stands were thick with all-black tees, Chris Webber choked up on the call, and the noise level up there with the days when Arco doubled as a brain-splitting torture device.

It's unclear exactly what this spectacle was meant to accomplish. National audiences have short memories when it comes to cities losing teams; certainly, David Stern could not give less of a shit about leaving a fanbase weeping on their doormats. His single-minded devotion to the Hornets is, at this point, less about post-Katrina justice and more about proving he was right to have enforced this imperative against all good economic sense. Otherwise, Stern doesn't do public relations anymore. In his dotage, the first thing to go was concern for the opinion of anyone he couldn't squelch or expect to diminish over time. The second was his ability to hide disdain.

The Kings upset the Thunder, a totally unexpected win that proved just how much potential, and fire, this young team has going for it. It was a show of force that gave Kings fans reason to cheer. However, the lopsided matchup probably kept a lot of folks outside of Sactown from even watching the game. It was a great day for the Kings, but it hurt them on the messaging front. DeMarcus Cousins had the kind of game that could change the largely negative view of him as an immature, coach-killing, head case; as Rob Mahoney noted in his spot-on dissection of Cousins's playing style, the second-year big man is startlingly original, effective, and well worth the head of one journeyman coach. But that's basketball. Cousins is a symbol, a cliche, and that far outstrips whatever he's actually doing on the court. And none of this will ever change unless the Kings command attention.

The thing is, the Kings—in a gently phantom way—just may be the most talked-out NBA team this side of the Knicks. Actually, "team" isn't right at all. They are the most talked about franchise, a chip, a pawn, a commodity, whose specifics rarely enter the picture. Cousins is a sulky jerk; the Kings are a professional sports club, a business entity.

This saw Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wrap up with the third part of a prolonged, Stalingrad-esque reunion show. RHOBH, as it's affectionately known, needed at least that much time to unpack a season so wracked with misery and genuine disaster that it turned a manufactured reality into fractured commentary on real-life unpleasantness. Taylor Armstrong may or may not have been brutally abused by her husband Russell, a grifter who killed himself while the show was in production. Taylor revealed in the reunion that her orbital was now held together by a patch of steel mesh, the only time in the show’s history that surgery hasn’t been played for laughs. Kim Richards, a stunted child star of Escape from Witch Mountain fame, spent the season in an alcohol and heavy meds-induced stupor; her sister Kyle, who acted alongside her in 1977’s The Car (most notable for James Brolin lead and Anton LaVey’s consultant credit), was her own study in horrid psychology, hitting on a particular obtuse form of denial that treated addiction as a personal affront.

And then, sitting blankly through much of the reunion, was Adrienne Maloof, the non-courtside Maloof sibling and co-owner of the team. The Kings are referenced constantly in RHOBH as a marker of Adrienne’s supreme wealth. They are “a basketball team,” and as her character has grown more harried, mundane, they make up about half of her identity. Adrienne is rich enough to not need fame. The show is a marketing tool, a public relations tentacle. Once, the ladies went to a game and met Ron Artest. This season, Adrienne and a couple of others confronted the horror that was … fans upset that the Malooves might relocate the team. This show airs weekly and has no shortage of chattery viewers. Its nondescript invocations of “Adrienne’s team” and an angry city that threatened her life when she flew in for what, at the time, looked like it might be the last home game. The messaging may have been impenetrable, but the Kings have been rendered so nondescript, so generic, that this almost seems like nit-picking.

The Kings are also a popular discussion topic with NBA fans in Seattle, who this week learned that a plan to build a new arena is being actively considered. The thinking is, if there’s an arena, the NBA has no choice but to bring a team here, since Seattle is an important place with money. This “if you build it, they will come” mantra plays on the logic that Clay Bennett used to steal the Sonics away to Oklahoma City. I’ve heard sports talk hosts say, seriously, that “the ball is in the NBA’s court.” And with Sacramento’s vote coming up in two weeks, the Kings are the most likely option. The Kings would become the new Sonics if they moved. The Sacramento team represents a placeholder: a spot in the NBA, a ticket back into the action. There has been precious little consideration of the players this city would inherit, some of whom are on long-term deals that would make their presence a given. Maybe it’s jumping the gun to talk about Cousins or Tyreke Evans, but it furthers this view of the Kings as BASKETBALL TEAM. They make rich women sparkle and right history for deserving cities. There is, however, next to no interest in the team itself.

Sports is a business, and the number of people who would be impressed by Adrienne Maloof owning an NBA team, or fondly remember going to Sonics games as a child, far exceeds those who want to talk about whether Keith Smart is just the right amount of permissive for a team that both needs direction but plays best loose. And yet perhaps the most compelling case to be made for the Kings sticking around is that their fans just plain get the NBA. Fine, everybody loves the home team, especially when they are winning; a small market represents a captive audience. But over the last decade or so, the Kings have had some mightily interesting teams, and fed off of this excess of personality. Tom Ziller, a good pal of mine and the all-time champion of NBA team blogging, said the other day that “DeMarcus Cousins is the most GIF-able player in the league.” He’s right, and the comments section of his Sactown Royalty are full of examples.

Is this about DeMarcus Cousins in particular? No, but the ability to latch onto this quality in players is anything but a given. It’s only a BASKETBALL CLUB if you view it that way.


Share |

Comments

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.
fix garage doors

home décor Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. قنوات اخبارية

Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area.
kickstarter

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.
buy research paper

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
minyak pembesar penis

dx I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. قطع كمبيوتر

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
bangkok to pattaya

I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site.
halloween kostumer

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! michael spencer gilroy

I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search...Its a good post..keep posting and update the information.
home décor

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
inflated helium balloons delivered

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.
dissertation writing services usa

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post
generateur de gemme clash of clan gratuit

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way
r4i

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
balloon delivery

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
faux stone panels

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!
Essay Writing Service

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
udklædning

eople of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
infissi in legno lecce

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.
virgin hair companies

I truly love upon scholarship your post. I enjoy here eyesight and understand the value of rendering a prime storehouse for free. Thank you for the idiot that you have
Perdu chien

I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work.
coque iphone pas chere

This article was composed by a genuine speculation essayist. I concur a considerable lot of the with the strong focuses made by the essayist. I'll be back.
internships

I Really Liked The Font You’ve Chose To Use In This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
sunscreen for black skin

When CMM Automotive Mechanics carries out a major service we check, test, replace and repair the required parts to make your car feel like new again.
furniture style

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
custom wristbands

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.
math tutoring Penrith

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
KitchenAid KFC3100ER Chef Series

same day flowers I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! flowers for funerals

vitamin c for skin I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Shipping Supplies

We offer professional quality translation services for clients all over the world. Our expert team work with 100% reliability, accuracy and timeliness. Online Language Translation…
infissi in legno lecce

His is so good that I had to comment. I’m in most cases just a lurker, taking in know-how and nodding my head in quiet approval in the beneficial stuff
camini a gas

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.
custom made coins

next flowers uk I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. aircraft for sale

This seems to be more interesting than I've been reading below, excellent and get more via
best used dealerships Jacksonville

I researed valuable information on this point as I am working on a class project. Thank you posting useful information and its now becoming easier to accomplish this task.
wells fargo online banking

Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.
gracie jiujitsu Jacksonville

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
wells fargo bank online banking wells fargo online banking wells fargo bank login

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog. tickets are available online and on the cover of the September issues of Nebraska Farmer.
Post

Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. Im moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards.
Post

It is specific to create it doable for all that we will a minimum of strive our greatest. give thanks for sharing from
Post

Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts
Post

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has importations your hard work and experience you have got in This field. Brilliant reading .I love it
Post

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up.
Post

I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such people.
Post

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
hampton bay lighting

Much obliged such a great amount for this data. I need to tell you I agree on a few of the focuses you make here and others may require some further audit, however I can see your perspective.
https://www.levitradosageus24.com/

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and new initiatives in the same niche. Blog gave us useful information to work. You have done an amazing job!
nigerian celebrity news

I Really Liked The Font You've Chose To Use In This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
Bolly Times

I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight ! As well as this is a very refreshing site.
thesis abstract