Now that my beloved Warriors are in the hands of financially stable, energetic, and committed owners, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, I turn my attention to the desperate condition of the Sacramento Kings, the team that represents the city in which I live. Financially stable, energetic, and committed are not adjectives that can be used to describe the Kings' owners, the Maloof brothers. I can think of more appropriate adjectives. Slimy comes to mind. And devious. How about manipulative?
Harsh? I don't believe so. Here's why. It seems clear to me and increasingly clear to the Sacramento public, as it must to all the parties concerned regarding the recently crafted agreement to build a new arena, that the Maloofs never intended to honor their handshake deal with the City of Sacramento, the NBA, and AIG.
Why, then, did the Maloof brothers return to Sacramento and declare there were no deal breakers? The terms were all spelled out in black and white. Do they have a reading problem? Why did they stand in the center court of Power Balance arena with their hands raised, tears in their eyes, and proclaim victory? Do they have an honesty problem? Why on that same Power Balance court did they hug Mayor Kevin Johnson knowing full well that they had no intention of paying $3.6 million dollars in predevelopment costs, (and other costs) that their handshake deal called for?
The answer is simple. They are belly-crawling around for a better deal, and in the Maloof swamp its okay to mislead as long as it benefits the Maloof family. I can not prove it, nor can anyone else, but I am convinced the brothers planned this manipulation from the get-go. They are gambling (They are gamblers, are they not?) that with so much time, energy, and reputation committed to the arena project, the NBA, the City, and AIG will cave in to their demands. I suspect that the Maloofs feel they are in control. Worse comes to worse, they can sell the team, and from what I've read there seems to be a number of takers, especially now that Sacramento and the NBA are committed to a new arena.
(New arena = new ownership interest = higher profits from sale of team for the Maloofs; No new arena = no new ownership interest = financial trouble for the Maloofs. GET IT?)
Even if they don't sell the team - and I'm convinced this is what their plan is - if their bluff works they will wind up with their team in a better financial position and a new arena at a lower cost to them. And they can continue to sit courtside and play big time NBA owners.
We're talking manipulation at the highest level. We're talking about David Stern of the NBA and Mayor Kevin Johnson like laundry being hung out to dry.
My only hope is that David Stern turns his well-documented fury on the Maloofs, in which case the City of Sacramento might have a chance of retaining their beloved Kings and building a new arena in which to watch them. And Kevin Johnson might be more than a one term mayor.
Although I'm not a great baseball fan, I am a fan of baseball poems. Here's one oldie but goodie:
Hits and Runs by Carl Sandburg
I remember the Chillicothe ballplayers grappling the Rock
Island ball players in a sixteen-inning game ended by
And the shoulders of the Chillicothe players were a red smoke
against the sundown and the shoulders of the Rock
island players were a yellow smoke against the sun-
And the umpire's voice was hoarse calling balls and strikes
and outs, and the umpire's throat fought in the
dust for a song.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.