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New deadline looms for Maloofs, Kings

It probably feels like Groundhog Day for Sacramento Kings fans, but another deadline for another potential relocation is looming.  This time it isn't the NBA setting the relocation deadline, but the city of Virginia Beach.  Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reports Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has put a deadline of next Monday for the Kings and Comcast-Spectacor, the proposed arena's operator, to come to an agreement on the team relocating to the east coast.

"We have a timeline that is right upon us to go to state to ask for a substantial amount of money," Sessoms said. "We are not going to go up there and make a fool of ourselves. I need to know something by Monday.  I don't want to be wasting people's time or my time if we are not going to bring some conclusion to these negotiations quickly."

The Kings reportedly have in talks with Virginia Beach about a move for several months now.  The key reason for Sessoms' deadline is to give two state General Assembly members time to request $150 million in state funds to help build the arena.  That deadline to request those funds is two weeks away.  After that the Maloofs would need to file for relocation with the NBA by March 1st, or get an extension as they did in 2011 when they filed for relocation to Anaheim.

It remains to be seen whether the NBA will discourage the Maloofs from moving to Virginia Beach like they did Anaheim.  The South hasn't exactly always been inviting to NBA teams and Virginia Beach would be a bottom five NBA TV market.  The Hawks, Wizards and Bobcats all reside in larger TV markets and all rank in the bottom third of the league in attendance, so what's to say the Kings would do any better?  The more likely scenario is George Maloof, the "brains of the outfit" see Virginia Beach has either a way to get his family out of debt or as a bargaining tool for other markets. 

Photo: Cowbell Kingdom

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