SACRAMENTO, CA - As the powerbrokers work behind the scenes to determine the fate of the Kings, some fans are making a very public push to keep the team from leaving.
No matter what's happening in Seattle, local grassroots are moving forward with a full court press to find new owners who will keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Monday morning, the group "Here We Buy" debuted its new website, herewebuy.org devoted to gathering popular support. Fans can pledge to buy season tickets for a team with new owners playing in a new arena. So far, fans have pledged to buy several million dollars worth. Also, businesses can pledge corporate sponsorships for a new arena.
It's all an effort to convince the NBA that Sacramento deserves to have a team and to convince prospective investors that if they put their money in Sacramento, they can expect a strong return.
Local radio personality Carmichael Dave helped launch the Here We Buy Movement. He says fans should know they can make a difference.
"This is not like any other team that's ever left any other city in the history of sports. All the things we need are here, we just happen to have psychotic owners that don't know their heads from a hole in the ground," Carmichael Dave said.
The names of those who pledge go into a database to be shared with new owners. With fans and businesses pledging support, what would happen if the Kings moved to Seattle and became the Sonics?
"If the city name were able to stay here and just be slapped on an expansion team, I can't speak for everybody, but I'd be absolutely fine with it. It would almost be like a fresh start," Carmichael Dave said.
Most agree the prospect of an expansion team is far from a safe bet, but many can't help but look ahead. The ideal scenario of the Kings staying in Sacramento with new owners who would build an arena that could revitalize downtown has many looking for backup plans, but some say few alternatives would work.
"Without an NBA team, I would find it very difficult to see a path where a downtown arena would be built at all," Carmichael Dave said.
That's why grassroots movements like Here We Buy are hoping an overwhelming sign of support from the people of Sacramento will convince prospective owners to buy this team or be willing to finance a new one.
"I don't care if it's the current Kings. I don't care if it's the expansion Kings. It wouldn't matter to me. As long as there is NBA basketball long-term in this city at a revitalized downtown arena, brand-new downtown arena, that's all that really matters. Everything else is absolutely transferable as long as there's NBA basketball here in Sacramento," Carmichael Dave said.