Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't Relocate The Sacramento Kings, Expand.

With the proposed relocation of the Kings to Seattle still up in the air, let's open a discussion on another solution: Expansion.

I understand that this entire situation has been driven by the fact that the King's performance, both economically and as an NBA team, has been poor as of late. But moving the franchise will not change how terribly the Kings will fair in league play, nor is there any evidence that such a move would help the franchise perform better economically. The Kings fan base would be just as weak, if not weaker, in Seattle. While Seattle is stronger financially, the city is dominated by the other major leagues. The struggling Kings would have to fight for attention the way the Hornets(soon to be Pelicans) do in the Saints' dominated city of New Orleans. In Sacramento, the NBA has a monopoly on pro sports. With this as the case, the NBA is better suited to remain in Sacramento.

But, all that said, I do believe that both cities should have teams, not one at the expense of the other. So, to address that, the league would have to expand. And for the sake of roundness, I'd suggest the addition of two teams.

I'd add the Baltimore Bullets and the Seattle Supersonics.

As an NBA team, the Baltimore Bullets existed twice, initially as one of the original NBA teams that ultimately folded in 1954 and then again in 1963 until the team was relocated to D.C. in 1973. The Baltimore area is a hotbed for basketball(Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Rudy Gay are all from Maryland) and Baltimoreans are avid sports fans, they would warmly welcome the addition of a pro basketball team.

In the event of these additions, it would create the opportunity to restructure the league's divisions. The current divisions are a little senseless(why are the Thunder and Timberwolves in the Northwest Division with the Trailblazers?) and I believe a little restructuring would create a greater sense of rivalry if it involves remaking geographically close locales into divisional opponents.

So, my vision of the new look NBA, were they to expand:

Eastern Conference:

North Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics
New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers

South Atlantic Division
Baltimore Bullets
Washington Wizards
Charlotte Bobcats
Atlanta Hawks

Central Division
Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers

Southeast Division
Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans
Orlando Magic
Miami Heat

Western Conference:

Northwest Division:
Seattle Supersonics
Portland Trailblazers
Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors

Midwest Division
Milwaukee Bucks
Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder

Southwest Division
Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets
Dallas Mavericks

Pacific Division
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz

I was debating whether or not the Thunder should be in the Texas-dominated Southwest Division, but I didn't want to displace the Nuggets. Besides, Colorado is only separated from bordering Texas by the handle of Oklahoma. I think these groupings would foster more heated rivalries given their greater proximities. And the league should always looking for a way to make the sport more appealing.

But back in reality, it looks as though Seattle will be getting their team via the same means that robbed them of a team in the first place. A shame, but it is the most likely outcome.

Maybe Stern will catch this post on DLP and make this proposed 32-team league a reality. One can only hope. lol


May love ever possess you, may peace come into your life.

~ Allan Graye