sactown fans
On second thought, let's not stay in Sacramento. 'Tis a silly place.

The Washington Wizards Generals: Ugly. Just ugly. The Generals finished with only 77 points on 35.6 percent shooting and lost by 28. In Washington. Chicago's starting frontcourt put the spank on (52 points, 26 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals), and the Bulls dominated both the glass (56-39) and paint-located scoring (48-22). By the fourth quarter -- which was strictly garbage time -- the home crowd was chanting "M-V-P!" for Derrick Rose and "Sca-la-breeee-nee!" for Chicago's human victory cigar. And they got him.

No wonder Mike Bibby essentially paid $6.2 million to escape this town.

Said Andray Blatche: "Our fans were trying to fight back for us, but it came to the point where we didn't give them no reason to fight back after we were down by 20-something."

Added Generals coach Flip Saunders: "Their bigs kicked our butts from the beginning. That first five minutes, they were getting every rebound, knocking us all over the place, and blocking every one of our shots. ... Some of our guys just never reacted in a positive way."

On the bright side, only 23 more games to go, Flip!

Meanwhile, Washington continued living up to their "Generals" nickname by being on the wrong end of the Globtrotters-like highlight reel:

John Wall: Before last year's draft there were some cutesy stories about whether Wall -- who had never appeared in an NBA game -- was already better than Derrick Rose. Seriously. Well, he's wasn't, and he's not. Last night's key stats: 3-for-14 from the field and a game-worst plus-minus score of -20.

The Atlanta Hawks: The Dirty Birds were the latest team to get gobbled up by the Wounded Tiger of Denver. Atlanta, playing on the second night of back-to-backs, were without Kirk Hinrich (sore right calf) and lost Josh Smith in the second quarter due to a sprained right MCL. Despite these tactical disadvantages, the Hawks kept things close until the fourth quarter, during which the Nuggets ripped off a 16-7 run to take care of bidness.

Key stat: The Atlanteans went 2-for-19 (10.5 percent) from downtown.

Denver has now won three of the four games they've played since 'Melo got his long-awaited trade to New York. Meanwhile, the Hawks finished their seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record. Speaking of which...

Larry Drew, coach of the year candidate: On his team's 3-4 road trip: "It's acceptable. It could have been a lot worse. That's what I told the guys."

Larry should get a side job giving pep talks to chemotherapy patients. "That anemia, hair loss, nausea and impotence? It's acceptable. It could have been a lot worse."

The Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson had a classic revenge game (28 points and a season-high 19 boards), but Boston's Big Four of Ray Allen (25 points on 9-for-15 shooting and a clutch three), Kevin Garnett (16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a blocked shot), Paul Pierce (21 points, 11-for-11 from the line, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Rajon Rondo (18 points, 11 assists, 2 steals) were too much for the Jazz, who lost their sixth straight game in Utah.

That's the team's worst home losing streak since 1982.

The Jazz -- who have failed in 16 of their last 21 games -- are 1-5 under new head coach Ty Corbin and 1-2 since Deron Williams was exiled to New Jersey.

Ty Corbin, coach of the year candidate: "We'll continue to build, and the guys will turn the corner a bit. But we need a little something good to happen to feel good about ourselves right now."

The Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin continues to kill himself (27 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal), but, damn it, he's playing for the Clippers and there's nothing we can do about it. Nothing. At least people on death row are eligible for a pardon from the governor. Blake is stuck on this bawful team until his current contract expires. Which can't be soon enough. NBA contracts should have a clause that gives time off for good behavior.

Anyway, kind of a sad night for the Kings, who won the game but might end up losing the war to keep them in Sacramento. As if renaming the arena -- it will change from "Arco Arena" to "Power Balance Pavilion" after this game -- wasn't enough.

The Kings wore the 1950-51 retro uniforms of the Rochester Royals -- who won the franchise's only NBA title that season -- and Kings fans organized a "Here We Stay" campaign to help keep the team in Sacramento. Arco sold out for only the second time this season and the crowd chanted "Here we stay," during player introductions.

Unfortunately, chants won't make dollar bills magically appear in the Maloofs' wallets, so Sactowners better find a new hobby.

But back to the losers. The Other L.A. Team gave up 23 points off 21 turnovers and suffered a patented Clippers fourth quarter collapse. Marcus Thornton scored 16 of his season-high 29 points in the final 12 minutes, during which the Clips were outscored 27-16. Kind of a big deal considering they lost by six.

Said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro: "We couldn't slow him [Thornton] down. We tried to keep him in an area, trap him on pick-and-rolls, but he was really aggressive. He was making shots, taking it to the basket and got to the free-throw line. He hurt us tonight."

Vinny couldn't devise a plan to stop somebody. Shocking.

Added Mo "And Here I Thought Life Couldn't Get Any Worse" Williams: "The last five or six minutes they really took it to us. Our turnovers [21] got the crowd into the game. They got some easy ones."

"Easy ones" is a good term for games against the Clippers.

The New Jersey Nyets: According to Elias Sports Bureau: "Deron Williams notched 18 assists tonight against the Suns, giving him 47 total assists in his first 3 games with the Nets. In the process he sets the record for the most assists by a player in his first 3 games with a team in NBA history."

Golf clap for Deron, folks!

Bigger golf clap, though, for Channing Frye. "Mr. Big Shot Frye" (as Grant Hill dubbed him) nailed a trey with 6.6 seconds left in OT to sink the Nyets. According to ESPN Stats and Information: "Channing Frye's go-ahead shot tonight against the Nets marked the 6th time since 2005-06 season a player had game-winning field goals in back-to-back games (Frye hit buzzer-beater Sunday at the Pacers). The last player to do so was Manu Ginobili in December 2010. Frye is the only player to accomplish the feat both times in Overtime over the last 6 seasons. It was also the only time both game-winning field goals came on road during that span. These marked the only 2 game-winning field goals of Channing Frye's career. A game-winning field goal is defined as a go-ahead FG with less than 10 seconds remaining."

True to Nyets form, with a chance to win the game, D-Will missed a shot that was seemingly tipped in at the buzzer by Kris Humphries. In the old days, that play would have stood and New Jersey would have won. But video review showed the ball was still in contract with Humphries' right hand with the clock at all zeroes.

Just another night of woe in Prudential Center.

Brook Lopez: You know that game-winner Frye hit? Dude was wiiiiiide open because Brook Lopez failed to switch on the play. Oh, and you know why that shot put the Suns up by one? Because Lopez bricked a freebie with 9.3 seconds left that would have put the Nyets up by three. Back-to-back fails by Lopez, brutal loss for tne Nyets.

Said Lopez: "It's definitely on me. We came back and Deron got a good look. I was right there, crashing the boards. I thought it was good. I will go to the grave thinking that."

Jesus. Morbid much, Brook?

The Phoenix Suns: Way to almost choke up the game, Suns. Phoenix went up by three points when Frye scored on a dunk off an inbound play with 8.5 seconds to go in regulation and the Nets out of timeouts. D-Will took the upcourt and found Anthony Morrow for a three-point attempt. For reasons unknown, Steve Nash actually went for the blocked shot and fouled Morrow with 2.5 seconds left. Morrow -- whom Nash, had he read the scouting report, should have known hits 90 percent of his foul shots -- knocked down all three. Phoenix called a timeout to set up a play, but they couldn't get the ball inbounds and were called for a five-second turnover. Sasha Vujacic missed a jumper at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.

The Suns pulled it out, thanks to Frye, but still.

Said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry: "That's ridiculous. That's the worst basketball game I've seen down the stretch. That was horrible. We were lucky as anything to win the game."

Chris's Amazing Lacktion Ledger:

Suns-Nyets: Johan Petro parlayed 6:37 into a +4 via brick, turnover, and two fouls, also garnering a 3:0 Voskuhl.

Bulls-Generals: Welcome to the ledger, Mustafa Shakur! With one brick in 5:34, he makes his inaugural entry for the Generals.


Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Sam Presti officially does not fuck around: Thunder sign Kendrick Perkins to an extension.

Anonymous sea_mole said...
The silver lining for the Jazz in their game last night is that they almost pulled out the win despite good or great games from Boston's big four. If your opponent's four best players all have good games, you would normally be blown out, right? The Jazz had chances at the end, but Ray was too clutch and the Jazz could never get the stops they needed.

Part of the reason that Boston's four were so good last night was poor defense by the Jazz, though. Sometimes silver linings are lined with poo, I guess.

Blogger chris said...
The reason the Maloofs don't have any money in their pockets has nothing to do with the Kings inherently, but because they made serious mistakes with their business plans for the Palms casino.

And that that reality - through no fault of Sacramento or its fans, though they have mostly chosen to stay away from a mismanaged team over the last five years - is why it's very hard to swallow that ANAHEIM, suburban, passionless Anaheim, might get the team instead, simply because the Maloofs think they can magically get a nine-figure TV deal like the Lakers did.

Anonymous Stockton said...
When is convict Griffin getting out of jail... LA?

Can't wait to see him in a Jazz uniform, playing pick and roll with Deron in front of caoch Slo... oh wait...

Anonymous Bitter Sonics ex-Fan said...
To all Sacto fans: it is not your team, it's the Maloof's, and you really can't do a damned thing, because Stern hates your guts for not springing for fancy new digs.

Anonymous laddder said...
Kings to Seattle... throw them a bone those poor bastards

Blogger 49er16 said...
To all Sacto fans: it is not your team, it's the Maloof's, and you really can't do a damned thing, because Stern hates your guts for not springing for fancy new digs.

Stern especially hates us because his plan for a new arena went up in smoke.

Blogger chris said...
Stern hates your guts for not springing for fancy new digs.

Oh, I know that. We all know that.

Basically, David Stern wants Sacramento fans and taxpayers to prop up the Maloofs' bank accounts with a new arena because the Maloofs' have less of a business acumen than most. (This despite the fact the team was rumored to have been PROFITABLE last year due to low payroll!)

Then again, as I tweeted a few days ago, the only difference between Mark Cuban and the sockpuppet is that one sold their stock at the right time.

So yeah.

Anonymous JJ said...
I wonder how Scalabrine feels about becoming a human victory cigar. He never was a star, but it must still feel crappy. Or, is he just happy to have fans call out his name?

Anonymous Bitter Sonics ex-Fan said...
It's hard to lose the local team. Here in Seattle, the fans were really pissed at the local government for not ponying up, but it's clear the fans were a small minority with no influence, because no one got hurt in the elections because of it.

But look around, it now looks like a pretty good decision, this is not a good time to pile up stadium debt. Key Arena is still a great place to watch a game, but the owners and Stern wanted to ass-rape us, they wanted to do scorched earth on us.

Blogger Will said...
The Kings seem to be Manifest Destiny in franchise form. They've gone from Rochester to Cincinnati to KC/Omaha to Sacramento. The only logical destination left for them is Honolulu.

Blogger The Sports Hayes said...
The Kings should go back to Kansas City....seriously. If they can't do that, why doesn't one of those rich yahoo's from Sacremento buy the team and keep it there?

BTW, Celtics won the bidding war for Troy Murphy who's 6 foot 11. They're hoping he's this seasons PJ Brown. Still think the Celtics are "too small" for the Lakers, Yams?

Last, was reading 48 Minutes by Terry Pluto last night and holy mother of magus Lenny Wilkens was the man. Maybe if the Kings had a coach like Lenny they wouldn't continually suck year after year.

Blogger chris said...
why doesn't one of those rich yahoo's from Sacremento buy the team and keep it there?

Sactown is a city of mostly middle-class white-collar government jobs, there isn't that much money here. A local assemblyman did make that very suggestion though:

Having said that, Kansas City probably would be very much like the way Memphis is now, in terms of market viability (and that isn't a compliment).

Blogger chris said...
Reading the thread at Royalty on last night's proceedings.

Isn't it crazy that two years ago, another Kings-Clippers game served as my introduction to live Bawful?

Come on, we need to continue to feed the residents of the state capital with more lacktion!

Blogger chris said...

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Bitter Sonics ex-Fan:

Ex-Seattlite here. My favorite city on Earth, and I call them the "City that cannot be name Zombies."

It's a point of pride for me that Seattle didn't give in to the usual pro sports franchise extortion. All the economics studies say that pro franchises bring no money to a city, and Seattle had already replaced the chia dome and renovated Key Arena not so many years before. So it was a good call by the city council, and if I were you I'd re-elect those people. Being a sports fan is one thing, fiscally fucking your community in an exercise in corporate welfare is another. Fuck 'em.

Anonymous Azreous said...
"True to Nyets form, with a chance to win the game, D-Will missed a shot that was seemingly tipped in at the buzzer by Kris Humphries. In the old days, that play would have stood and New Jersey would have won. But video review showed the ball was still in contract with Humphries' right hand with the clock at all zeroes."

I think the refs ruled Humphries' tip no good even before the replay, then confirmed after they checked the monitors. But I see your point anyway.

Blogger winnetou said...
In case anybody else was looking for the Murphy confirmation: Murphy to sign with Celtics
In other news: Miami Heat ditch Arroyo to make room for Bibby.

Blogger bullzag said...

They've built 2 state of the art, brand spanking new stadiums (Qwest and Safeco) in the last 10 years, both heavily subsidized with taxpayer money. Good for Seattle to stick up their middle fingers at the rich, whiny billionaires that wouldn't fund their own F#&^*&! stadium.

Blogger Paul said...
@Wormboy and Bullzag

Yeah, it gets tiresome. We live in a country where conservatives are constantly accusing everybody of trying to impose their "lefty, communist" ways on them.
Yet, when it comes to bailing the crap out the likes of GM, Country Wide, Fanny May at al or build multibillion dollar arenas at the expense of taxpayers they are the first ones to reach into our pockets.

Really glad Seattle didn't give in.

Anonymous waylander said...

Boston did win the Troy Murphy lottery, but there's a reason he's on the market:

Anonymous bizarro said...
stupid stupid lebron james

Blogger The Sports Hayes said...
Chris, good point.

Winnetou, probably Miami's best move. They're still thin at center but Bibby is 10 times better than Arroyo.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Being a sports fan is one thing, fiscally fucking your community in an exercise in corporate welfare is another. Fuck 'em."

Truer words have never been spoken.

"They're still thin at center but Bibby is 10 times better than Arroyo."

Bibby's reputation is 10 times larger than Arroyo.

Skill-wise? Although Bibby is "better" it isn't 10 times better and this move is marginal at best. Bibby may be a worse defender (YIKES!) than Arroyo, if that's possible.

Blogger chris said...
Wormboy: I think the question was, why the city gave in for Qwest Field and Safeco in the first place.

I agree 0% with what Bennett did, so it's not a "BUT THE SONICS SHOULD'VE GOTTEN THE SAME TAX BREAKS!" It's more a matter of municipal consistency than anything else.

San Francisco was able to get a new baseball park mostly through private funds (disclaimer: with a few subsidies, but nothing like the 2006 planned Kings arena, or what Bennett wanted in Seattle). The cautionary part though is that they resisted the call for a new indoor arena for decades, which is why the Warriors ended up in Oakland, and the Sharks were established in SJ instead of SF...all while Cow Palace, the former NBA/NHL venue that it is, remains significantly more outdated than Arco ever will be.

Anonymous Bitter Sonics ex-Fan said...
Seattle put the Kingdome replacement up to a public vote. (I believe it was King County.) The voters voted it down, then the legislature scrambled together a package to make it happen. So that's definitely a mixed bag of result.

Qwest Field was put up to the voters, and they approved it. Done and done.

There was never a public vote on Key Arena replacement, but the Bennett ownership group put forward what they wanted, which was something diamond-encrusted, and was laughed out of the legislature. Which is what they wanted. And there wasn't a huge groundswell of serious support for a replacement. I'm pretty hardcore, yet I was sitting thinking, "Key Arena is good enough. Screw 'em!" And that wasn't all that unusual.

I am discussing this not because I am really all that bitter (even though my moniker here says I am), but to help set expectations for Sacto fans: you will get raped, then you'll be crushed to find out he doesn't really love you!

Anonymous Bitter Sonics ex-Fan said...
On the "municipal consistency" thing, Key Arena got a facelift for 1996, and it got the stamp of approval from His Sternness himself. So while we had two stadiums built, the Key Arena problem was apparent to many people here to be a ginned-up "problem", more accurately a bald-faced plundering, from the NBA. The Key was good in 1996, and less than 10 years later it's not good enough to keep a team?

I'm a hard-rightist, but even I can see that the NBA model is for business to partner with government to screw us over for the benefit of big business. Later on, business comes along and says (Vito Corleone voice), "we know how to return a favor."

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Bullzag: Damned straight! That's what I was saying.

@Bitter Sonic: Yeah, voters approved it, doesn't mean it wasn't a BS boondoggle. I was in Seattle for the Chia dome replacement vote, and I was in the Bay Area during the Pac Bell vote. Hell, I grew up in STL and followed the Busch replacement boondoggle there. The disinformation campaigns in every case were stunning. Flat-out blatant lying and manipulation was the norm. There are now several blue chip economics studies that show that pro sports franchises bring nothing to a city economically. They are even built primarily by journeymen laborers (aapprently the skills are fairly unique, so local construction workers don't even get a job.)

So bottom line is that sticking 300-500 million into a new stadium arena is lunacy for cities. Better to only upgrade when the old ones are literally worn out and non-functional (read: lack of luxury boxes is not sufficient to anally rape local citizens). It's corporate welfare pure and simple. The sooner municipalities wise up, the sooner franchises won't be able to play one city off against another in an extortion game. But hey, this ain't the only way in which voter ignorance is frequently manipulated.

Blogger chris said...
I'm pretty hardcore, yet I was sitting thinking, "Key Arena is good enough. Screw 'em!" And that wasn't all that unusual.

Honestly, I feel that way about Arco Arena.


The "need" for a new arena exists because ownership - which includes the Maloofs - didn't think of renovating Arco _once_. How is this the fans' fault, or sacramento's? It isn't.

And oh yeah, I totally dig ya with the fact Key had been renovated less than a decade prior to Bennett being Bennett.

The real villain nobody mentions is Starbucks's Howard Schultz, who was stupid enough to sell it to Clay so he could cash out and get jillions, then conveniently sued Clay once it was clear where the team was going (which was not the Puget Sound).

Blogger chris said...
The sooner municipalities wise up, the sooner franchises won't be able to play one city off against another in an extortion game.

Of course, some of it is just pure prestige. It's why Louisville is desperate to be in on the action, now that they've built a fancy-new-college-arena-on-the-waterfront with no pro tenants. Even with the blindingly poor economic evidence for municipal sports support, there's a prestige from being a championship city that can't be gained anywhere else.

Sacramento being on Sports Illustrated's cover in the early 2000s is the type of publicity that other places of similar size (including Fresno down the road!) doesn't get to have.

As for SF and arenas/ kills me how there was a vote for the Niners' new thing at Candlestick, it passed, everyone was happy...and then Eddie DeBartolo's idiocy has led both to the decline of the on-field product (as his incompetent brother-in-law ran the team into the ground) and the current plan for the team to move to a parking lot stadium in Santa Clara. And to think SF was supposed to get the Super Bowl in 2003!

Anonymous Bitter Sonics ex-Fan said...
Wormboy: totally agree with you, and I'm also up on the economic myths about sports.

Chris: I was going to say something about Schultz, but it didn't fit, but who needs it to fit? The man knifed us in the back, plain and simple. The man started making noise about the arena, and went to the legislature, and sources say they've never seen anyone so ill-prepared when they came to talk to the legislature. I thought he was a shrewd businessman, so you'd think he'd 'a been prepared. But something shady was up, and he stabbed us.

To keep this current, I bet something shady is up with Stern & Maloof, Inc. On the other hand, it's not exactly a secret, so it's not some conspiracy they're trying to hide.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't worry Sacramento fans. You'll be able to pick up the Pacers in a few years.

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Bitter: And it's worth noting that I'm pretty liberal. I don't consider this a partisan issue.

Blogger chris said...
BadDave: Now, if the Pacers move to Louisville, it'll be justice for 1976. LOL. :D

I somehow don't think that'll happen though.