Anaheim Got Game, Name: City Approves $75M to Lure NBA's Kings
Now that the Lakers and the Clippers are regularly selling out Staples Center, why not bring a third NBA team into the fold? Anaheim City Council voted to approve $75 million for improvements to Honda Center and its surroundings in an effort to convince the owners of the Sacramento Kings, the Maloof brothers, to up and vamoose.
But there will be no "Anaheim Royals of Los Angeles' Neighboring County Orange in Southern California." Language passed by the city guarantees that any NBA team that plays in Honda Center can only use the city name Anaheim, according to KNX.
Earlier this month trademark applications seeking rights to the names "Los Angeles Royals," "Anaheim Royals," "Anaheim Royals of Southern California" and "Orange County Royals" were filed by an attorney representing the Maloofs, according to ESPN.
It's been an eventful week in the Maloofs' efforts to get the lowly 21-52 Kings out of the capitol. Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dangberg went after the Maloofs on Monday regarding a $70 million loan (now worth $77 million) that, if defaulted upon, would cause the city "irreparable harm" should the team move.
Joe Maloof responded to the "below the belt" letter via the OC Register, insisting that he and his brother Gavin would continue with negotiations and also asking that the City of Anaheim hold off on its vote to approve the $75 million in bonds.
Anaheim voted to approve the $75 million Tuesday night. But Dangberg and the City of Sacramento aren't giving up hope, insisting that plans continue for a new stadium up north. KHTK's Carmichael Dave even started a "Here We Build" fundraising driving to help get a new Sacramento arena built, according to the SacBee. The campaign has set out to raise $200 million and are rallying under the Twitter hashtag #HereWeBuild. For the Kings, not for Japan or the homeless or....
Before any of this Anaheim business becomes a reality, the Kings must file for relocation by April 18 and the NBA's other 29 owners must approve the move by majority vote. Sacramento mayor (and former Phoenix Suns) Kevin Johnson has been talking as if the team's departure was all-but inevitable.