Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arena Update: Details From Term Sheet Made Public

The Sacramento Bee released details pertaining to the arena term sheet not originally expected to be released until Thursday. More details will be released by city officials tomorrow. Below are the main details released earlier today.

-The city will contribute $255,530,000 to the arena, part of the $391 million total cost which has been increased from $387 million due to prep and construction cost estimates.

-The lease the Kings will sign will require the team and any future owners to stay in Sacramento for 30 years.

-The Kings will refinance their current $67 million loan from the city.

-Five percent surcharge on all tickets sold at the arena will go to the city.

-Percentage of net profits earned by arena operator will go to city.

-$3 million will come from the public campaign to purchase bricks and plaques.

-Kings will refinance $67 million loan from the city in 2015. The new 30 year loan should reduce Kings annual payments.

-AEG has agreed to pay $58.75 million for right to operate arena for next 30 years.

-Kings will have a separate deal with AEG on revenue sharing on game days.

Full story from the Bee, here.

Joe and Gavin Maloof Timeout Speech & Thank You

Kings Beat Jazz Behind Cousins, Thomas

In a back and forth game in which the Kings pulled away late, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas led the Kings to a 103-96 victory over the visiting Jazz and extended their winning streak to two games. The starters carried the load tonight, led by Cousins who finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds on 8-17 shooting, and the electric Thomas who ended with 18 points and 8 assists.

The Kings were also helped by Marcus Thornton's 21 points, including five key free throws in the final 18 seconds. Jason Thompson contributed 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. His defense in the 4th quarter against Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson was a big factor in the win. Tyreke Evans ended the night with a quiet 13 points on 4-12 shooting in only 31 minutes of play, and wasn't involved much on offense. Tyreke has to find a way to get more involved in the offense.

Thomas played a great floor game in the second half, controlled the tempo, ran the offense well and hit a few key shots to keep our momentum going. He and Thornton kept the offense rolling after Cousins went to the bench with his 4th foul with 4 minutes left in the 3rd, and kept us in the game until Cousins returned with just under 7 minutes to go in the 4th.

The game was tied at 80-80 with just over five minutes to play when John Salmons's reverse layup put the Kings up 89-87. Cousins then posted up Jefferson on the right block, spun baseline and powered in a layup. A few trips later he grabbed a monster offensive rebound off a Francisco Garcia missed corner three and scored the putback to put the Kings up 93-87. Devin Harris and Salmons exchanged baskets, and Thornton closed the game going 5-6 from the line in the final 18 seconds to seal the victory.

This was a good win over a solid Western Conference team and we continued to defend our home court where we're now 8-5. Tomorrow the team will practice before taking on the Clippers at PBP on Thursday night.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tonight: Jazz @ Kings 7pm

The second half the season kicks off tonight at PBP against the visiting Utah Jazz. The game tonight kicks off a favorable second half schedule where Sacramento will play 21 of its final 33 games at home, where they currently have a winning record at 7-5.

The three guard lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans will be back in action as they hope to improve both chemistry and familiarity with each other, as this starting lineup has only featured four times thus far. Tyreke is getting used to playing more off the ball, and figuring out where the gaps in the defense are to make himself available and more of a consistent threat will be a work in progress.

Utah comes in looking to put an end to its three game losing streak. Raja Bell is out, but the Kings front line will have its work cut out for them going against the foursome of Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

This is a winnable game. The crowd should be a factor tonight as I expect it to be a loud, celebratory atmosphere at PBP after the great news which came out yesterday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kevin Johnson Deserves a Thank You

One year ago, Kings fans were more than nervous as the NBA's March 1st deadline for filing for relocation was quickly approaching, and with numerous reports the Maloofs had one foot out the door with both eyes fixated on a move to Anaheim and the Honda Center, fans of the team had more than enough reason to be fearful. With ticket sales plummeting, the somber mood surrounding the team, the fear of filing for relocation filling the air and the same not-so-positive reviews of Sacramento politicians once again failing to step up to the plate and get the job done, one man stepped forward above all others with the same "never say die" attitude we previously witnessed many a night in NBA arenas from coast to coast.

That man is Kevin Johnson, and his constant perseverance might not have only saved the team, but the Sacramento economy as well. This deal was a win-win for everyone involved. The city made out extremely well with its general fund protected by future surcharges on event tickets, and it will reap the benefits from increased tax revenue and a revitalized downtown. Education, law enforcement, the fire department, among other sectors all stand to benefit from the increased tax revenue the new ESC will provide. Small businesses also stand to benefit as people will be drawn to downtown, and when people are drawn somewhere they spend money. The saying "if you build it they will come" definitely rings true.

The Maloofs came out well with an affordable long-term loan with the NBA replacing the $73 million loan from the city of Sacramento they will repay upfront. The Maloofs will be included in the designing of the arena to help tailor it to the community, while also increasing profits through various revenue streams (corporate suites, club seats, sponsorships, etc.) they have a limited supply of or do not currently have access too, which will allow them to increase revenue, compete in the free agent market and reinvest in the roster with the goal of putting a winning product on the court which we're all thirsty for.

Lastly, the fans. The greatest fans in the NBA, who sold out night after night for a decade while supporting a perennial loser, and provide the closest thing to a college atmosphere in the NBA can now look forward to cheering on their team for decades to come, in person, in Sacramento. It truly is a magnificent day for all included, and this day would not have arrived if it wasn't for Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Thank you, Kevin. You gave us all a gift which we can share with family and friends for generations to come.

Framework for Arena Deal In Place!

Per Sam Amick's twitter, who is in Orlando following the meeting: Kevin Johnson says, "framework of an agreement going forward" to keep team in Sacramento. "I want to jump up and down".

More from Johnson. "It's game over, so our community should be very excited." Maloofs are expected to contribute upwards of $70 million.

Great news, Sacramento!

Update: More from Amick.
Joe Maloof tells the family contribution to $387 million arena is $73 million, but it doesn't end there.
Starting in 2015, when the arena will open, Maloofs will pay a 5 percent surcharge on all tickets that adds more than $60 million more over time.

More details from the Sacbee:
-$75 million due upfront from the Maloofs
-Maloofs pay off $67 million city loan, take out a longer-term loan
-3-5 percent surcharge for all events in new arena goes to Sacramento's general fund
-AEG pays $60 million to become ESC operator
-City parking garages leased out for $200 million

Sunday, February 26, 2012

George Maloof the Final Snag in Arena Deal?

There were many positives coming out of Orlando today pertaining to the new arena. David Stern arrived at the meetings sporting a purple tie, showing his support for Sacramento and its fans. Joe and Gavin Maloof appeared very upbeat when approached by the media during a break. Mayor Kevin Johnson sounded both confident and hopeful, as Scott Howard Cooper reports the mayor stated "I'm very excited with where we are." Asked if the process took a step forward today/tonight, he said, "absolutely".

There were more positives to be seen in Commissioner Stern's comments to the media. Speaking on Sacramento, Stern stated, "I opened two buildings there and am looking forward to opening a third", as reported by Ryan Lillis.

However, not lost among the positives is George Maloof, the brother who has had his eyes clearly set on Anaheim for awhile. As Sports Illustrated writer Sam Amick originally reported, after George was told about Johnson's comments to the media that both he and the Maloofs agreed that "the city has done its part", George distanced himself from that statement. "I'm not convinced yet. I'm not 100 percent convinced. I think they're trying. We just got their deal today."

Further reports suggest that George is the holdup. J. Michael reported, the issue isn't the [arena]plan, and a person briefed on talks says the NBA is ok with [the plan]. It's the Maloofs brother. Two want to stay. One wants to go.

Tomorrow will be an extremely important day. Stern, Mayor Johnson, all three Maloofs and NBA officials have rearranged their Monday schedules to continue talks at the Waldorf hotel. Stern left reporters with this comment. "We did a lot of hard work and made progress. I think the mayor has put a lot of things in order to move us closer to [an arena]. I think the Maloofs have made significant commitments."

Let's hope between now and when the meetings pick up tomorrow, Joe and Gavin can get through to George and get him on board with the plan.

How Does Isaiah Thomas Stack Up Against Other Rookie PG's?

Isaiah Thomas has been a revelation for Kings fans. The 5'9" point guard from the University of Washington has gone from being the 60th and last overall pick in last June's NBA Draft, to making the team roster(which the large majority of second round picks fail to accomplish), to successfully fighting for a spot in the rotation, to later grabbing the starting point guard position by the reigns while also holding his own against the last two #1 overall draft picks in point guards John Wall and Kyrie Irving.

Since Keith Smart moved Isaiah into the starting lineup four games ago, he has averaged 19.5ppg, 6.5apg, and 4.3rpg on .509 percent shooting, including .450 percent from behind the arc. While the Kings have won only one of those games, his presence and leadership abilities are hard to ignore on a Kings team suffering from an overall lack of leadership, as well as his positive affect on ball movement which has seen the Kings as a team record 20+ assists in three of his four starts. That is a refreshing sight to see for the team currently ranked dead last in the NBA in assists per game.

Kyrie Irving was the clear top choice at pg in last June's draft, as well as the clear top choice overall. Ricky Rubio while drafted in 2009, stayed in Spain for two years and didn't suit up for Minnesota until the current season tipped off. There were a host of other rookie pg's selected between the #1 pick in Irving and the #60 pick in Thomas last June. Here is a look at how Isaiah stacks up against the top rookie pg's.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stage is Set for David Stern, Mayor Kevin Johnson and Maloofs Arena Meeting on Sunday

The arena talks are heading down to the wire. In Orlando for All Star weekend, Kevin Johnson, the Maloofs and Commissioner Stern are readying for a vitally important arena meeting tomorrow.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting Sacramento city officials are asking the Maloofs to contribute somewhere between $70-90 million to the arena. The funding sources for the ESC are coming together as the March 1st deadline quickly approaches, and hopefully tomorrow we will know more about not only whether or not the Maloofs are supportive of their proposed contribution but also whether or not they can afford said contribution.

This will only get more interesting, and if the Maloofs can't produce the finances for what appears to be a fair proposal in the eyes of Stern, Ron Burkle might enter the equation once again. Interesting days and weeks ahead indeed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Andrew Bynum and His Thoughts on DeMarcus Cousins

Leading up to All Star weekend, Laker center Andrew Bynum had this to say regarding DeMarcus Cousins.

"He's a good player, definitely coming up. It's terrible that he has to play in Sacramento. He could take his talents somewhere and really help a team."

This appears to be a compliment from Bynum towards Cousins, as backhanded as it may sound. These two have chirped at one another through the media previously, and I expect a rivalry between the two to continue growing as these two head towards the prime of their careers and undoubtebly have years of tough battles ahead we all can look forward to enjoying.

Tonight: Rising Stars Challenge

Tonight at 9:00pm est, our very own Boogie Cousins will take the court in the newly instated Rising Stars Challenge. DeMarcus, while more than deserving of the honor of participating in this game as one of the leagues top up and coming big men, might not have to wait much longer until appearing in All Star weekend's showcase event, the All Star game held on Sunday night.

DeMarcus has taken his game to a new level in his second season. His numbers are up across the board, he's quickly become the most consistent player on the Kings and has shown a striking turn around in his maturity level since former head coach Paul Westphal was kicked to the curb. Keith Smart has been a revelation for DeMarcus as his confidence level has reached an all time high under the "interim" head coach.

"We obviously know what the turning point was," Cousins recently commented. "I'm able to play now. I'm not out there just setting screens. Coach Smart is letting me play, and he's let me put my talents on display. It's freed me up, and I've become a better player".

"I was being held back," Cousins said of playing under Westphal. "It's been proven. The stats show it".

Kings Top Ten Plays of the Week

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome to Kings Nation

Welcome to my new blog about all things Kings. It is hard to ignore the lack of coverage the Sacramento Kings get both locally and nationally. That is why I decided to step in and help fill the void. There are a few other Kings blogs and websites which do a good job covering the team, but if you all are like me you are generally always left wanting more.

I eat, sleep and breath basketball when not wrapped up in all the other tasks and duties life throws our way. With that in mind, I will tell you what to expect to see on Kings nation.

I will provide previews and recaps for each and every Kings game. I will provide analysis on where the current team stands, the roster, how players are performing or not meeting expectations, post-game clips, interviews, arena updates, trade speculation, pointless banter and a whole lot more. Please continue to stop by and I sincerely hope you enjoy the ride.