The Kings play the Lakers in Sacramento tonight, marking what is likely the end of a 26-year stint in the California state capitol. There are still a few hurdles left to jump before they move to Anaheim, but it’s looking more and more like a done deal that Sacramento is losing the only major professional sports franchise they’ve ever known.
But not if Chris Webber has anything to say about it. The Kings legend is doing everything in his power to stop the move. He broke it down on Inside the NBA (via The Sporting News):
“I’m doing all I can to keep the team (in Sacramento),” Webber, a TNT studio analyst, said during the network’s NBA coverage Tuesday night. “I may sound like a fool on national TV, but I believe we can keep the team there. I’m working to do that.”
When asked how he was working to keep the Kings in Sacramento, Webber said, “Many ways. We don’t want to talk about it. But obviously, I have a group.”
Webber acknowledged, however, that it’s a longshot to keep the team from moving. “It’s probably a gone ship anyway,” he said. “But even if that ship is leaving the shore, I’ve got an anchor and some people, and we’re throwing it, trying to hitch it to the back of the boat and keep pulling the team back.”
TNT’s Charles Barkley said he would give Webber a “few million dollars.”
Well, at least the Kings have got the “outstanding power forwards who never won a championship” vote all locked up. That’s a powerful, powerful lobby to have on your side. Jokes.
But really, this is pretty cool. I mean, a Kings legend buying a part of the team he starred on in order to keep that team in the city where he played is an incredible story. As Webber alludes to, it’s a long shot, but how great would it be if he were able to pull this off? How great would it be if Charles Barkley was a part owner of an NBA team? The possibilities are endless.
Besides, as Tom Ziller has mentioned, the team’s owners are broke and are trying to pay off their massive loans with smaller loans. I’m no Ben Bernanke, but that doesn’t even make sense to me. If Webber can get a group to raise a ton of money quickly, maybe there’s a chance his group can swoop in, buy the team and save basketball in Sacramento. It’s a movie scenario, but Chris Webber was in “Like Mike” so that’s not too far-fetched.
Tonight’s probably the last chance you’ll ever have to see the Sacramento Kings in action, so you’re going to want to tune in. But if Chris Webber somehow pulls this off, you won’t regret the two-and-a-half hours you wasted tonight. Good luck, man.