HOUSTON 94, KINGS 82
Latest story on Cal Expo arena situation and the San Jose/Anaheim interest
Talk about a busy week.
Not sure what I'd do if the Kings were actually winning, in which case there might be a need to follow their various All-Star participants around in Phoenix while weighing the possibilities of a long playoff run and gauging how they stacked up with the league's other elite teams to this point. As it was, the closest I came to All-Star weekend was a layover in Phoenix from Houston yesterday afternoon and a flight to Sacramento 40 minutes later.
Rest assured, there's still plenty to follow.
The arena issues and uncertain future of this organization are a hot topic now because of the Feb. 27 Cal Expo presentation and the looming March 1 deadline for relocation. Like I said before, there's more to come, and it's safe to say there have been two-way discussions between the Kings and San Jose and Anaheim. Plan A just isn't going all that well at this point, so no one should be surprised they are inquiring about Plans B and C.
Meanwhile, there's the question of whether they can make any moves before Thursday's trade deadline.
And while the Shawn Marion deal is off the table now, I'll be banging the phones again today to see where things stand otherwise.
The tone of the last few days was all over the map. During the Dallas-Houston portion of the road trip, I repeatedly was told that anything more than a salary-dump deal looked unlikely. Most folks around the league - including some at the Dallas game - literally looked on the floor and shook their head at how unattractive most of the Kings' assets are to other teams.
But yesterday came with a change in tone, and there was some reason to believe something was coming around the bend. And now in the wake of the Marion news, I'm being told from the Miami side that the Kings were making a push for the Matrix and his expiring deal worth $17.1 million up until the end. Not sure where that leaves things now, but no one could blame the Heat for picking a recently productive O'Neal over an ailing Brad Miller (and Kenny Thomas). It's no small thing that Miller has been out. Just horrible timing. To review, this Marion deal has been on the table for some time.
I'll hopefully be back with more specifics today or tomorrow, but had been meaning to share some reading material to pass the time in the meantime. Some of it is industry-relevant only, but no one's forcing you to click on it.
* Howard Beck of the NY Times hits it on the head in discussing why teams like the Kings shouldn't count on landing a top-tier free agent in 2010. Click here for story.
* Just as it's no secret the Kings are hurting financially, it's no mystery that newspapers aren't doing well either. Personally, I like the idea pitched in this story. (Be sure to click on the link at the end of the piece if you feel like joining the movement)