Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:54 pm
NEW YORK -- Mark Cuban always holds court with the media when his Mavericks make their annual visit to Madison Square Garden. On Sunday, he said he'd support Seattle's efforts to return to the NBA.
"As long as it’s not an expansion team, yes," Cuban said. "... I voted against the move because I thought it was wrong to leave Seattle. I’d be all for a team going back to Seattle. But it would have to be a team that moves. I’d be against any type of expansion."
Plans for a $490 million arena aimed at attracting an NBA and NHL team to Seattle were unveiled this week, with a $290 million commitment from investors led by Seattle native and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. The balance of the funds would come from tax revenues generated by the building and rent paid by the teams, according to the plan.
But with the NBA already in a state of overexpansion, the irony for Seattle is that its path back to the NBA would have to entail doing what Oklahoma City did to Seattle in 2008: luring a team from somewhere else. The likely suspects are Sacramento and New Orleans, where both NBA teams are facing uncertain arena situations.
"Teams go in cycles," Cuban said. "When you're at the top of the cycle, like Sacramento when they were winning, they were selling out every game and it was one of the hardest places to play. But it’s really how the market supports the team when you suck."
A vote by the Sacramento City Council is expected by the end of the month on a funding plan for a new downtown arena for the Kings. Sources say the NBA has narrowed its list of potential buyers for the league-owned Hornets to a handful of groups -- possibly two -- that would keep the team in Louisiana. The announcement of a purchase agreement could come soon after All-Star weekend, pending the resolution of talks between the league, Gov. Bobby Jindal's office and the Louisiana legislature on a new arena lease.
"We continue to work with the Hornets to reach a long-term leasing agreement," Frank Collins, Jindal's press secretary, said in a statement provided to CBSSports.com.
Cuban also weighed in on the new collective bargaining agreement, which he helped negotiate as a member of the owners' labor relations committee. Asked when it will be known whether the owners got a good deal or a bad deal, Cuban said, "We'll find out over the next three or four years. We’ll see what happens when we have a chance to opt out of it in six years.
Asked what criteria should be used to evaluate the new CBA, Cuban said, "Are all the teams making money? ... If all the teams have a chance to compete, then you have a better chance of making money. If you have a better chance of retaining your star players, you have a better chance of making money. So they all go hand in hand."
Posted on: May 8, 2009 7:55 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2009 10:59 pm
Despite denials from the university, Louisville coach Rick Pitino reached out to the Sacramento Kings through an intermediary to express interest in their vacant head coaching position and continues to be interested in a return to the NBA, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com on Friday.
“I don’t think that book is closed at all,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I think the desire to go back to the NBA is there.”
A report by Yahoo! Sports about Pitino’s interest in coaching the Kings prompted the predictable denials from the university, which insisted Friday there was no truth to the story. But the person who spoke with CBSSports.com confirmed that a mutual friend of Pitino’s and the Kings’ owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, reached out to the Kings to discuss Pitino’s interest. Pitino began contacting recruits Friday to reassure them that he’s not leaving, and university spokesman Kenny Klein told ESPN.com, “He’s not going to the Sacramento Kings.”
But Pitino is embroiled in a controversy at Louisville in which he was the target of an alleged extortion scheme hatched by the estranged wife of an equipment manager. The woman, Karen Cunagin Sypher, was charged last month with asking Pitino for cars and tuition for her children and $10 million. She has not entered a plea. That case, according to the person who spoke with CBSSports.com, is believed to be one of the reasons Pitino has decided to make overtures for a third return to the NBA.
“He had interest, and wants to get back to the NBA and prove he can win,” the person familiar with the situation said.
The person said Pitino’s name is “under consideration” by the Kings in their search to replace Kenny Natt, who took over on an interim basis this past season when Reggie Theus was fired. But the Kings have yet to interview anyone for the job, and their financial parameters wouldn’t satisfy Pitino, who would likely seek to be one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA. He also would seek control over personnel decisions, which wouldn’t work in Sacramento, where GM Geoff Petrie makes the decisions with ample influence from the Maloofs.
Former Kings and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan is the current front-runner for the job, but there is debate within the organization as to whether such a hire would satisfy the team’s desire to break with the past. The Kings are moving deliberately in their search, and the longer it goes on, the more likely it becomes that a Maloof favorite, John Whisenant, could emerge as the top choice. Whisenant, the GM of the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs, has received consideration during the Kings’ past two coaching searches and is held in high regard by the Maloofs.
UPDATED: Why would Pitino want to flirt with an NBA team when he's under contract with Louisville? Don't forget the most important word in sports: leverage. A second person familiar with the Pitino-Kings saga told me Friday night that you cannot underestimate the role John Calipari's new contract with Kentucky plays in all of this. Pitino is said to be eager to pressure Louisville into sweetening his deal in light of Calipari, his former assistant, getting an eight-year, $31.65 million deal from his in-state rival. And you never know. Now that Pitino's name is on the NBA radar again, who knows? Some other team might be saying, "Why didn't we think of that?"
Yes, in sports, it's always about the money.
Posted on: February 19, 2009 11:43 am
It was the Kings' second trade in as many days, and again, cost-savings is the theme. Brown and Williams carry team options totaling about $5 million for 2009-10. McCants is due a qualifying offer of $3.6 million, and Sacramento figures to release Booth, who has a $1.1 million expiring contract. Booth could be a second or third option for Boston or perhaps Cleveland, depending on what happens with Joe Smith.
Posted on: February 18, 2009 5:05 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2009 5:42 pm
The Sacramento Kings have agreed to send center Brad Miller and swingman John Salmons to the Chicago Bulls for Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com.
The deal has yet to go through the league approval process, so other pieces could be involved. But with that basic framework, the Kings pay a hefty price for Gooden's $7.1 million expiring contract. Nocioni is owed $21 million over the next three years, with a fourth year at a team option for $7.5 million.
UPDATE: According to the Sacramento Bee, the Bulls also send Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons to the Kings. In a separate deal, the Kings send Ruffin to Portland for Ike Diogu and about $1 million. When the math is done, the trades will save the Kings about $13.5 million next season.
UPDATE: K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago also is discussing a separate salary dump that would send Kirk Hinrich ($26.5 million due over the next three years) to Minnesota for Jason Collins' expiring contract and noted cap albatross Brian Cardinal, who has $6.75 million coming off the books after 2009-10.
The Mavericks, who are shopping Jerry Stackhouse (only $2 million guaranteed next season) were in the mix for Miller, but the Bulls had the pieces necessary for the Kings to move the two players they wanted to trade in the same deal. The Knicks also were interested in Miller, but had no serious conversations with the Kings on that front.
Posted on: December 15, 2008 1:51 pm
Another Monday morning, another coach fired in the NBA. The Kings have fired coach Reggie Theus, making him the sixth coach in the league to be let go this season, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Yahoo! Sports reported that top assistant Chuck Person also was let go, signaling that owners Joe and Gavin Maloof believed Person had become inextricably linked with Theus. Assistant coach Kenny Natt was named to replace Theus on an interim basis.
A 114-90 home loss to the Knicks Saturday night -- dropping Sacramento to 6-18 -- sealed Theus' fate.
"The team didn’t so much quit on him, but it was in such disarray that it probably pushed theowners over the edge," the person familiar with the situation said. "It was not a question if, but when."