SACRAMENTO — For many, this city's biggest selling point is its proximity to other, more exciting places, like the cosmopolitan hills of San Francisco or the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe.
But for almost three decades, there has been one thing people didn't need to leave town for: professional basketball. For Sacramentans, the Kings are more than just an NBA franchise. They're a sign that the city is not second-rate.
ut now, after years of tormenting locals by flirting with out-of-town suitors, the Kings' financially troubled owners have reached a deal to sell the team to a Seattle investment group. The buyers want to bring the team north and rebrand it as the Supersonics, restoring a franchise that bolted Seattle five years ago.
The pending loss of Sacramento's only big-league sports franchise is a blow to a city with a long-standing inferiority complex. It didn't help that Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to move here while he was governor, commuting by private jet from Los Angeles instead.