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A Sacramento Kings move would prove costly

The Times' Mark Heisler goes coast to coast in the NBA.

March 12, 2011
  • Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof celebrates a victory over the Clippers last month.
Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof celebrates a victory over the Clippers… (Steve Yeater / Associated…)

Any decision will cost them

Say the magic word and the owner of the Ducks comes down and gives you $100 million.

Even with inflation, Henry Samueli's offer beats a $100 bill from a papier mache duck on Groucho Marx's '50s quiz show.

Unfortunately, with the money the Kings owe Sacramento, a $50-million-plus NBA relocation fee and compensation for the Lakers and Clippers, that's not a pot of gold at the end of Interstate 5, it's a bridge loan.

Owners Joe and Gavin Maloof aren't torn between Anaheim and Sacramento... but between Anaheim and postponing the decision for a year, rather than debut with their "Lord of the Flies" cast, now on a 19-win pace, during a lockout.

Like the Motel 6 guy says, we'll leave the light on for you.

Shall we stay or shall we go

The big question is whether the Maloofs can afford to choose?

Bloomberg recently reported they may sell controlling interest in their Las Vegas casino, the Palms, after breaching covenants on loans.

On paper, the OC is the land of milk and honey. In real life, even with its huge population and demographics, this is Southern California, where all but champions are hard sells.

If the Angels are thriving, they're from Los Angeles and Anaheim, they say, and have had a long successful run.

The Ducks, 2007 Stanley Cup champions, play to 85% of capacity, No. 22 in the NHL, and they're in the playoff race.

Meanwhile in Hell …

If the Heat set itself up, it didn't set itself up for this, since preening is to NBA stars what breathing is to mankind.

With its woes laid to a) blowing leads, b) the wrong guy taking the last shot, c) being crybabies and d) their "Xbox offense," they did well to show up, much less upend the Lakers... as Kobe Bryant threw up a late barrage of wild shots.

Not that it will become a Lakers issue.

If it does, Kobe will give as many press people the Death Stare as it takes to end the inquiry.

Meanwhile, President Pat Riley cut to the chase, telling the Newark Star-Ledger:

"We need a big and we'll get it. We won't get it this year, but we'll get it."

In the meantime, they'll get something else.

Respect the game: Players are optional

Gee, who could have imagined this?

Oh yeah, anyone outside the NBA office.

Dwight Howard was suspended with his 16th technical foul and Amare Stoudemire spared when his was rescinded (a double-T he and Dallas' Brendan Haywood got for making faces at each other.)

That led Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy to compare Moammar, er, David Stern to unnamed tyrants.

"I would just render a guess that we're not going to be hearing from him for the rest of the season," cooed Stern to ESPN's Colin Cowherd, predicting "Stan and the team for which he works [will] rein in his abhorrent behavior."

That means they got a call saying, "One more word from Oscar the Grouch and you're out $1 million."

Joke that this is, they ain't seen nothing yet.

Wait until Dwight, Amare et al. start disappearing in the playoffs!

— Mark Heisler

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