Reporting Laura Cole
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The King and his supporting cast held court against the Kings on Saturday night as the situation around Sacramento’s team continues to be a royal mess.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat made their only appearance of the season in the Capitol City on Saturday, and it was no contest. King James and the Heat rolled to a 128-99 victory.
A big crowd at Sleep Train Arena came out to see the defending NBA champions but also to support the team they love amid reports the Kings are headed to Seattle.
“We’re here to have fun, watch the Kings,” fan Shawn Hendrickson said.
And also to see whether they could topple the 6-foot-8 star who earned his first NBA championship ring last season in Miami.
James scored 20 points and teammate Mario Chalmers hit 10 three-pointers on the way to 34 points in the Heat’s lopsided win.
But these loyal fans also don’t want to see their team go anywhere.
“This is all we’ve got in Sacramento sports-wise, major sports-wise, and if this team leaves, what else do we got?” fan George Moya said.
Once again, the Maloof brothers avoided the spotlight as fans decided to take a shot at the owners who have kept them in dark on the team’s future. The Maloofs have not made any statements regarding reports this week of a deal to sell the team to a Seattle group led by hedge-fund investor Chris Hansen for anywhere from $500 to $525 million. They’ve also stopped showing up at games.
“It’s the unknown factor always,” Myrtle Berry said. “Kind of disrespectful, really.”
“I just don’t like the way that they stayed quiet this whole time and the way they’ve treated us fans that come out and support the team,” Moya said. “I think they have a lot of explaining to do.”
Mayor Kevin Johnson is hoping he can explain to the league commissioner why Sacramento should keep its team. Johnson is focused on getting a local buyer to keep the team here.
“We’re playing to win,” Johnson said while at the game Saturday. “We have an excellent opportunity to create a win-win – a win for the team to be able to keep the team here in Sacramento and a win for the community is that we have an opportunity to find a new ownership group that is committed to Sacramento, and I’m excited about that.”
Several fans said they really just want transparency. The not knowing is what’s really making this difficult, they said.
Some people just don’t want to talk about it anymore. They just want to know when it’s all said and done.