The Bucket list
Last week, the Sacramento Kings took on the Memphis Grizzlies in a sort of Contraction Bowl. Both teams are on top lists of teams that could be contracted (as in eliminated), with the NBA saying it lost $380 million last year.
(Other possible candidates include the Pacers, Timberwolves, Clippers, Hornets and Bobcats.) So far, the Kings have outpaced the Grizzlies in home attendance. Even at home, the Griz are a tough sell.
Speaking of which, Louisville, Kentucky, now joins the list of cities panting after an NBA team. The city, named for a true king, just opened a new arena, the unfortunately named KFC Yum! Center. Sounds more like Japanese anime than basketball, but does lend itself to the nickname The Bucket.
Louisvillians have already designed a Louisville Kings logo and Facebook page—the coin of the realm these days—with, so far, more than 4,300 fans. Of course, the official Sacramento Kings Facebook page has nearly 53,000 followers. Take that, “Villains.” (For the record, the Facebook page Bring the Kings Back to Kansas City has just 11 followers, while things are much more lively over at Keep the Sacramento Kings out of Louisville, which last we checked had garnered 36 “likes.”)
Kentucky is a basketball hotbed, but like Indiana and North Carolina, leans more toward college hoops. Just ask Francisco Garcia or DeMarcus Cousins. Big college followings also explain in part the lack of support for the Pacers and Bobcats in true basketball country.
The Pacers have made noises about leaving Indianapolis before, and Louisville wouldn’t be a bad spot for them, too, especially with their geographic and American Basketball Association connections.