Politically Correct with Kevin Johnson

arenaplanHas anyone seen Kevin Johnson’s Sacramento arena plan? Does anyone know if it actually exists? Has anything been written down? Drawn up? Are there blueprints? Has a location been settled upon? What the hell is the deal here?!

As the mayor of his hometown, Johnson has held press conferences on consecutive days to let the world know two important things:

1) He has a plan, which allegedly involves a lot of money and a new arena, to save the Kings.

2) That plan involves at least 21 investors, some of whom are whales.

Unfortunately, neither of those nuggets of information add up to much substance. Which leads everyone to believe that Johnson may just be talking out of his ass to save face in the wake of an inevitable defeat.

Here’s the thing about politicians. When it comes to their careers and their livelihoods, most of them want to climb the proverbial ladder. Climbing that ladder leads to more exposure, more money, and in theory, lends itself to a better life.

Johnson isn’t stupid. The former NBA point guard wants a better life. Everyone wants a better life. It doesn’t matter how great your life is, it can always get better. Even Bill Gates could probably stand to be on the receiving end of a few more BJs, I’d imagine. We’re all human. We want the best, even if the best is entirely unattainable. And so, like many, Kevin Johnson is doing all he can to lead himself to his own little slice of heaven.

In order to get to where he wants to be, Johnson needs to be The Man. And part of being The Man includes appeasing the people. In this case, Johnson’s people are the citizens of Sacramento who don’t want to see their basketball team leave town. It’s up to the 46-year-old Californian to make these people happy. He knows his efforts to save the franchise from relocating might very well be futile. But much like in sports, the end result isn’t nearly as important as the effort given to reach that result. We can’t all be champions. But we can all try. So Kevin Johnson will try.

Johnson may be onto something. Maybe he really does have a great arena plan. Maybe he does have committed investors in place to buy the team. But the fact remains that the Kings are a privately-owned commodity. And the owners of that commodity have already agreed to sell their good to someone else, someone who has every intention of moving that good north. Even if Johnson does everything right, he still can’t force the Maloof brothers, owners of the good that is the Sacramento Kings, to engage a handful of handpicked whales in a transaction.

And that’s just it. This deal has already been agreed upon. To what degree, we don’t really know. Have papers been signed? Maybe. Have all details been finalized? Possibly. If that’s the case, then there’s little else to determine here. In a short while the Kings will vacate Sacramento and become the new Seattle Supersonics. The citizens of Sacramento will be sad, angry, pissed off, heartbroken, all of the above. Johnson, himself, will likely be disheartened. But above all else, those very same citizens will always remember Johnson for his effort. And in turn, they’ll vault his career up the ladder, one rung higher than he would have found himself clinging to had he failed to try.

Kevin Johnson is a politician giving his people what they want. It’s a tried and true formula for political success. Whether he manages to succeed in delivering the people their desired outcome is irrelevant. He understands that, but they may not. And really, they don’t need to. They are buying into what Johnson is selling because it’s the only choice they have. And months from now, when the Sonics are running back and forth across Key Arena’s hardwood floor, Johnson will still exist as a voice of the people, a voice that refused to remain silent right up to the bitter end.

The people of Sacramento will lose their Kings. Seattle sports fans will be the benefactors of Sacramento’s loss. And despite being the man at the helm of a city that watched its NBA franchise exit, Kevin Johnson will still be a winner. Plan or no plan, whales or no whales, he’s a politician playing the game the right way.


20 thoughts on “Politically Correct with Kevin Johnson”

  1. I wish it was that easy. The NBAs Board of Governors have the final say on any sale of a team. They’ve already agreed to let Johnson make a counter proposal. And could, in theory, choose Johnson et al over Hansen et al. Also, it has been revealed, the minority owners of the team have the right of first refusal as part of their ownership agreement. If true, this will allow them to match Hansen and prevail in buying the team. Still a lot of moving parts to deal with here. One rumor has the NBA keeping the team in SacTown and awarding an expansion team to Seattle. Hopefully we get a team one way or another.

  2. Maloofs need the money. they will sell to whoever david stern tells them to sell too. billionaires are also in sac. The sale to seattle is not going to go through. If both offers are equal money wise, do you relocate a team vs keeping it where it is without the clout of relocation.

  3. Hey! I just stumbled upon this. Kevin Johnson’s arena plan worked out well, eh? The only thing left up in the air is whether Seattle will ever get an NBA team… the most overrated sports city in the nation that can’t support more than one team at a time.

    Can I ask you a few questions? I know there are a couple dozen of you who were actually Sonics fans. But why was your attendance below Sacramento’s every year for the last ten years of the Sonics’ existence? And how many of you “12th Man” frauds were even Seahawks fans before Shawn Alexander’s time? How many even know who Steve Largent is? Good job supporting the Mariners over the years too. You’re a minor league city that’s the only thing going in its region, or you would be a one-team town.

    And that’s the truth.

    Hell, even Ballmer’s bailed on you. He’d rather be in California too.

    So if I were you, I’d delete all these old articles mocking Sacramento. Because we won. And made your entire overrated, garbage sports town bow down to the real power. KJ owns you. The Kings own you. Sacramento owns you. Kneel before your masters. You don’t deserve the Sonics anyways.

  4. Oh hey. Nice article. I guess there really wasn’t an arena plan…

    …oh wait we’re about to break ground. Hope you guys get a team soon.

  5. This is GREAT to read a year and a half later. How do you still have a job?

    Oh! I have another question for you: After their first, and only, Superbowl win, how long will it take “The Twelfth Man” to disappear? Wait, why am I asking you, let’s ask the Supersonics… Oh yeah.

  6. I love this article!! LOL Where is this hack who wrote this now.. Slinging fish to his buddy at pikes place or serving pikes place to weary travlers at Starbucks? Anyways, Kings are here to stay! Sacramento will have the best areana in the league in 2016! So I spit on all the haters!

  7. So, when can those Sonics season tickets go on sale? How long will the team shop be open? When will we be able to walk through the parks surrounding the arena?

    Oh wait, the Kings never left.. And as far as the Kings being stolen from KC? They supported the Kings in KC about as much as Seattle supported the Sonics in their last years – with progressively dwindling attendance and support. But you don’t see KC still playing the “victim” role, they’ve moved on.

  8. All of you that are Sacramento supporters shouldn’t be on here making fun of Seattle. We have a team and they don’t. Support the team rather than tear down the others. Be the bigger person.

    I’ll see all of ya opening night in 2016. Maybe we’ll be playing the expansion Sonics, because hell, ya couldn’t write a better storyline.

  9. At least you don’t have to endure Ballmer ridiculous dances and celebrations. Great article by the way, written by such a visionnair

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s