WARNING: The content discussed in this blog post may be inappropriate for minors.
They look so happy.
That's the worst part about Dancer-gate.
Whether the Kings dance team is in the Monarchs locker room sipping on Prolly champagne or finding new and exciting ways to use team-issued candy canes, they're just having such a good time.
At least they were. Now? Not so much.
Oh, where to begin...
How about Monday night, when I was first informed that numerous members of the Kings dance team had popped up on the sort of web site you don't tell your mother about - withleather.com (which I later found out was actually scooped by donchavez.com). Fourteen pictures in all, and all of them enough to make Mama Maloof squirm in her courtside seat.
Half-naked shots on their personal time. Shots with alcohol on the Arco Arena premises. Shots they never imagined would become available for public consumption.
The backstory here is that one of the dancers put the pictures on an online photo album that was somehow discovered. And in the two days since word started spreading, there has been a Monday night mention on KHTK's Carmichael Dave show and a growing buzz on the web that includes the mega-site Yahoo!.
From chatting with folks in Kings land, they've been cleaning up the mess for two days now, holding meetings on the subject and - when prompted on Wednesday - releasing a statement regarding the issue.
Here's the e-mail from vice president of business communications, Mitch Germann, with a title reading "Sacramento Kings Statement Regarding Dance Team Photos"...
"The photos of Sacramento Kings Dance Team members circulating on the Internet were published without the knowledge or permission of the Dance Team members or the Sacramento Kings, and they do not adhere to the principles and values of the Sacramento Kings organization."
Asked if there would be any disciplinary measures levied against the dancers, Germann wrote, "We handle all Team Member personnel issues internally."
I spoke with Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof this afternoon, too, having called him for a story on the actual team. At the end of the conversation, I asked about his stance on D-Gate.
"Well we obviously don't condone that type of behavior, but we're going to actually take this matter internally," he said. "We'll deal with it internally."
For the record, I'm guessing the pictures could be more than a year old considering a couple of the dancers aren't around anymore and the holiday theme shots were probably from 2006. Most of the women in the pictures remain, though.
The controlled media world was also put on alert, I'm told, with phone calls about the dancers to all Kings-operated radio programs on KHTK quickly dumped. Carmichael Dave's show, The Rise Guys and Mike Lamb constitute the only weekday local programming not beholden to the organization.
There may be more backtracking on the way, too, as there was a Kings.com behind-the-scenes with the dancers feature in the works that I'm guessing never sees the light of day. And if anyone employed by the Kings is happy about anything, it's the timing in relation to the schedule. With just one home game between now and March 2, the dancers can stay out of sight for a while.
Of course as I see it, it's quite the conundrum as to whether any of this matters. On the one hand, these gals don't wear all that much to begin with when they're performing. They are paid by the Maloofs, who have their party boy image that comes with the Sin City connection and run the most risqué hotel in all of Vegas. On a certain level, they were already selling sex. This just takes it to a new level. The alcohol is where it becomes problematic, and mostly because it's on the actual job site.
Now if they would just go ahead and trade somebody, we'd really have something to talk about. - Sam Amick