Ricky Rubio Finally Joins NBA

According to many media reports, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio will be playing in the NBA next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Many people remember Ricky Rubio from the 2009 draft.  Rubio was a hot choice for many NBA teams that draft.  The Kings passed on him and decided to draft Tyreke Evans instead (which ended up being a great decision as he ended up being the rookie of the year).  Instead of playing in the NBA, Rubio ended up playing back home in Spain.  At the time he was only 18 years old, surprisingly young for being such an outstanding player.  Because Rubio was so young, many thought that he would go back home and play in Spain for a year or two and get even better with time.  To much surprise, he did not improve like many expected.  In an interview with the Lakers’ Pau Gasol, another Spanish basketball player, he said, “Rubio did not improve as much as I expected him to.”

In 2009, when Rubio played with Regal FC Barcelona, he only averaged 6.6 points and 3.8 assists in 21 minutes per game.  He also played against the Los Angeles Lakers in an exhibition game and went scoreless, to many people’s surprise.

If Rubio does end up playing with the Timberwolves next season, how effective is he going to be?  Well, he seems a little small, a little weak, and he sure didn’t prove much while playing in Barcelona.  The Timberwolves need something more.  The need a lot more, as they only have a combined 32 wins in the last two seasons.  I don’t feel Rubio is going to be much in their efforts at being what the Timberwolves used to be in their glory days with Kevin Garnett.

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Information Released on Kings New Potential Arena

The image above excites many Sacramento Kings supporters.  ICON-Taylor would be the building company for the potential arena.  ICON-Taylor is one of the nation’s leading sports complex builder in the nation.  They have built many other sports complexes like the Denver Nuggets’ Pepsi Center, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Ford Center, the Lakers’ Staples Center and many others.  The Kings potential arena would seat 19,000 for basketball with an increase in 44 luxury suites.  Arco Arena only had 30 suites whereas the new arena plan would hold 74.  The date of completion for the new arena would be May of 2015, just in time to miss the 2014-15 season.

The arena would be built in downtown Sacramento near the railyard.  The estimated cost  of the new arena is $387 million.  Some people’s first reaction may be, “where in world is Sacramento going to come up with such a large amount of money?”  As expected, there has been plenty of debate around the Sacramento area with this new deal.  There is the argument that Sacramento can barely afford to keep adequate basic services intact as it is.  Many feel that the arena is the last thing Sacramento needs at this time financially.  However, some others believe the arena actually could be financially beneficial in the long run.  Some believe that the arena would bring millions upon millions of dollars of revenue in annually.  They believe it can be a very viable economic resource for the city and even cleanup an area of the city.

Currently, Sacramento is booming with leisure.  Restaurants, bars, hotels are blowing up as the city grows.  Although initially the city may struggle financially with $387 million, don’t you think with the addition of a new arena for an NBA team placed in the middle of it all it might be a good economic source for the city?  It would increase sales for an already growing downtown and help the city grow into something special.

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Sports/Entertainment Complex Update

As the Kings and Kings fans already know, the future of the Sacramento Kings lies in the hands of a new arena.  If Sacramento lands the new arena, they will likely stay, but if they fail to complete a new arena plan, they are likely gone.

So what is the update in the arena situation?  On Thursday, May 26, from 1-3 PM, the ICON/Taylor group will present its financial feasibility study to the Sacramento City Council during a meeting open to the public.  It was recently reported that a new arena would cost approximately $370 million.  More details on how the arena will be payed for will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting.  All Kings supporters who hope for a long term stay in Sacramento are urged to come and support the cause.

The overarching reason for Thursday’s meeting is to make sure residents of the region are informed and engaged in the new arena efforts.  What’s interesting about this event is that public comments will be accepted.  Starting at 1 PM the public will be address issues that want to bring up to executes like the ICON/Taylor group, the City Council, and Mayor Kevin Johnson.

If a new arena plan were to be built, a couple likely places would be Sacramento’s Cal Expo, or adjacent to the downtown train station.  Both of these option have been discussed for years now, but hopefully Thursday’s meeting can bring the Kings a little closer to making it a reality.  Both places would be good venues for a new Kings arena.  Cal Expo is a large plot of land, primarily used for the California State Fair, and it already has a large parking lot.  Arco Arena’s land in the Natomas area would become the new venue for the state fair in exchange.  The Cal Expo lot could also be sold to private developers for a mixed-use neighborhood and the current Arco Arena land could become the new fairgrounds.  With that option, the new arena would be built adjacent to the downtown train station.  I would love to see the new arena built near the downtown train station because it would be a fun, and exciting area for a new arena.  It would hopefully boom the downtown Sacramento life at local restaurants and bars.  It would be a great place for going out in the city before and/or after games.  But the big problems posed with this option: TRAFFIC and PARKING.  Is the city of Sacramento prepared for such a large investment to be placed so close to downtown?  Hopefully at Thursday’s meeting Sacramento can step closer to making the plan a reality.

Cal Expo Parking:

Downtown Train Station:

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Ethics in the NBA

The famous Pistons/Pacers brawl in 2004 was a disgrace to the great sport of basketball. The brawl demonstrated lack of class on both teams and with the fans.  The sport of basketball is an amazing recreation and should be fun and exciting, but it should maintain a level of safety for players and fans.  When exhibits like this occur, it completely takes away from the point of athletic events.  Occurrences like these are detrimental to anyone who has any type of relation with the NBA.

After the Pistons/Pacers brawl, the NBA came up with revised guidelines for all NBA arenas and their fans.  The revised guidelines include policies dealing with the deployment of security personnel, alcohol sales and a new Fan Code of Conduct.  The NBA Fan Code of Conduct sets forth expected standards of decorum for all fans attending NBA games.  Guests who fail to adhere to these standards will be subject to ejection and and possible revocation of season tickets.  The NBA guidelines also set forth standards regarding alcohol consumption.  Alcohol can now only be sold up to the beginning of the 4th quarter, 24 ounce minimum and only 2 sold per customer at a time.  Each NBA arena is also supposed to have designated driving services, but how many actually follow that guideline?

The NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct is important and a good way of keeping the fans from engaging in inappropriate behavior at games.  But after multiple searches for an NBA Code of Ethics for the NBA itself, I found nothing.  The only code I came across was the Fan Code of Conduct.  I feel it is vital that the NBA come up with a Code of Ethics that they should consistently follow.  Why should the NBA create a Code of Ethics?  Well, Whenever an ethical question arrises in the NBA, and we all know that plenty of ethical issues arise year in and year out, the NBA can refer back to their Code of Ethics.  A Code of Ethics sets the tone of a company’s culture and it sets the ethical expectations for employees and management alike.  A Code of Ethics sets forth the mechanisms for enforcement and consequences of noncompliance.  I strongly believe a Code of Ethics is crucial for the NBA.  Not only should the NBA create a Code of Ethics, but they should also display it to the public on their official website for the public to view it as well.  Maybe a set Code of Ethics can keep occurrences like the Pistons and Pacers brawl from happening again.

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NBA Draft Lottery Results?

The Sacramento Kings, of course, didn’t do to well in the NBA Lottery.  Expected to have the 5th pick, the Kings ended up with the 7th overall pick.  Again, the Kings frustratingly get unlucky.  One of the big surprises with a high pick in the lottery was the Utah Jazz.  The Utah Jazz came through with the 3rd overall pick even with a winning percentage of .473 last season.

The big winner of this years NBA Draft Lottery was the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Cleveland Cavaliers, last season’s second worst team, ended up with the 1st and 4th pick of the draft.  An interesting remark came from Cleveland Cavaliers former star and current Miami Heat player, LeBron James.  After the Heat’s shoot around on Wednesday, LeBron said, “I’m happy for the franchise and happy for the fans.”  Lebron also believes that Kyrie Irving would be a good fit for the Cavs.  With LeBron abandoning the Cleveland Cavaliers last season to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, his comment obviously stirred up some emotions.  Should LeBron be commenting on such a topic?  How did Cavaliers fans feel about his comments?  Maybe LeBron should be worrying more about his current playoff series against the Chicago Bulls and not so much on the Cavaliers situation.  Of course, there is also the argument that LeBron is just doing the best he can with his relationship with Cleveland.

So what should Cleveland do with their 1st and 4th picks?  Well, the Cavaliers obviously have some holes in their roster.  Their two best players are Antawn Jamison and J.J. Hickson.  Both Jamison and Hickson are 6-9 power forwards.  The Cavaliers could use some depth in their guard positions.  With their guard play being so weak, a strong first pick for the Cavaliers would be Kyrie Irving.  Kyrie Irving, a guard, could be a strong fit in Cleveland to help Jamison and Hickson.  With Cleveland’s 4th pick, Derrick Williams will most likely be taken, so another good pick could be Connecticut’s Kemba Walker.  Walker is another guard, but with his ability to shoot the deep three, he could fit in at the shooting guard position as well.  If Cleveland can establish stronger guard play to go along with the big men, Jamison and Hickson, they can perhaps build a stronger team for next season.

Joseph Landini’s Podcast talks more about the Lottery.

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Kings’ 2011 NBA Draft

Come June 23rd at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the 2011 NBA Draft will finally be here.  The NBA draft is always an exciting event for NBA fans.  The Kings are expected to pick fifth as they had the fifth worse record in the NBA last season, finishing with a 24-58 record.

With the few players that could have sparked interest for the Sacramento Kings, like the University of North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, deciding to return back to their respective schools, the Kings are left with very few possible benefitting selections.  That leaves the top two picks of the 2011 draft to probably be between Arizona’s Derrick Williams and Duke’s Kyrie Erving.  But let’s be realistic, the Kings aren’t going to get lucky enough to land either of those two players.  So what does that leave us with?  Well, there is Kentucky’s Enes Kanter or the foreign player from the Czech Republic by the name of Jan Vesely, but both of those players play power forward or center, the positions that the Kings future is already locked in at.  There is also Kemba Walker, but his small size and poor decision making makes him a risky pick.

The Kings most likely pick is Kentucky’s Brandon Knight.  Knight, a point-guard, is believed that he can help out the Kings present point-guard Beno Udrih.  I have heard plenty of complaints about Beno Udrih in Sacramento because of his lack of defense and inability to be a game-changing player.  But would Brandon Knight, a rookie, really be able to hop aboard the Kings lineup and really be a game changer either?  I don’t think so.  For so many years now, the Kings have had some high draft picks and we keep saying, “we are a young and building team.”  Blah, blah, blah, might it be time to do something different?  A possible option for the Kings would be to trade that fifth pick for a higher caliber player.  With a possible move next year, if the Kings don’t land that new arena plan, I, as a Sacramento Kings fan, am leaning towards trading that pick.  I want to see some exciting basket ball THIS season.  That’s just my opinion.

There has also been many rumors going around that the Utah Jazz are banking on the international forward Donatas Motiejunas.  What does that mean for the Kings?  Well maybe the Kings could land Andrei Kirilenko.  Kirilenko is an exciting player that brings energy and a strong defensive support to the team.  Kirilenko might be a little bit pricey, especially with the Maloof’s budget, but his energy and defense could be a beneficial addition to the Kings’ lineup.  Will Kirilenko send the Kings to the playoffs next year or even get them to a .500 record?  Probably not, but why not give him a shot.  It doesn’t look like what we have done in the past couple years has gotten us anywhere significant either.

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Kings Celebrate Stay in Sacramento

On Tuesday May 10, Sacramento Kings enthusiasts gathered in Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento to celebrate the Kings’ stay in Sacramento.  The park was filled with thousands of fans who gathered in joy.  The main reason for the rally was to celebrate Kings fans’ valiant efforts in protesting the relocation to Anaheim.  The celebration was a symbol of success, a symbol of “being heard.”  Kings fans fought tirelessly, day in and day out, fighting to keep their beloved Kings in Sacramento.

What were some of the things that Kings fans did to protest the move to Anaheim?  They rallied for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, welcoming him home as the fans waited for him at the Sacramento International Airport.  Kings fans travelled all the way across country to New York City to rally outside of an NBA relocation meeting.  Kings fans rallied at the end of the final game of the season at Power Balance Pavillion, urged local businesses to help budget for a new arena plan, consistently sent disapproval mail to NBA relocation committees, and didn’t give up for second.  Kings supporter efforts paid off with the announcement that the Maloofs decided against relocating to Anaheim.

The Kings voices were heard, and that is what they celebrated in Sacramento’s Cesar Chaves Park.  Many influential speakers attended the celebration including ex-Kings legends such as Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson, Scott Pollard, and a video recording of Chris Webber who was played live that supported and applauded the efforts of Sacramento Kings fans.  The Maloofs, a variety of sports writers, and leaders of Kings protest groups were also in attendance.  There was also live music performances from bands like TESLA, a well known local Sacramento band. The celebration was a well deserved success.

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