The NBA is reeling this week after a scandal from a video tape released over the weekend that was confirmed to be the voice of Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. The content of the video is a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend where he repeatedly uses racist remarks, including disparaging comments about basketball legend Magic Johnson. The fallout, which finds itself directly in the middle of a heated first round playoff battle between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors has landed Sterling with a lifetime ban plus the maximum fine granted under the NBA constitution of 2.5 million dollars.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday, "Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA." He has also encouraged team owners who will be put to a majority vote to force a sale of the Clippers. So what does that mean for the Clippers future? Do they remain in the crowded Los Angeles sports scene? Will Magic Johnson and company purchase them, that'd be ironic? Or hey! What about opening back up the conversation about Kansas City?
First thing is first, this is of course all hypothetical, another long shot at best. But this nation was built by believers, so why not? Has there been a better time than now? Here's ten good reasons why moving the Clippers to Kansas City might not be such a bad idea.
10. The Arena has already been built.
The 300 million dollar masterpiece known as the Sprint Center lies in the heart of downtown off 14th Street and Grand Boulevard, on the east side of the recently developed Power and Light District. It fills just as many patrons as the Staples Center fills for its games at right around 19,000 and is home to the Big 12 tournament every year. The idea to build in the first place was to get into the discussion of housing an NHL or NBA franchise and the city is ready.
9. Your trash is our treasure.
The city has a history of capitalizing on another's misfortune. Well, here's the pig on a platter. As a lawmaker or city leader it's hard to keep a promise, and Kansas City has often backtracked on a project due to revenue, but Rome also wasn't built in a day and the city is making positive steps, especially as of late. There's talented treps all over working hard to build small businesses. A new restaurant pops up every other week creating a very positive foodie culture and the art scene can compete with anybody in the country. The revolution has been going on and you can feel it, what better time is there than now?
8. KC already hosts preseason games
Since 2007 Kansas City has hosted several NBA preseason games and have had plenty of success in doing so. The defending champs, Miami Heat seem to like it as they've been back four times. Imagine the energy surrounding the city if they stuck around for more than one night.
7. The city has been here before
From 1972-1985 the Kings called Kansas City home. That's more than a decade with a franchise so it's not like they came and went. Just like any other town, when a franchise leaves the people are sad, that's their team. If not for experience, here's the pity card. Chris Paul would make a fine replacement for Tiny Archibald as well.
6. Crosstown Rivals
It's a five hour drive to Oklahoma City and you see what the Thunder have done for that metropolitan desert. What better than to have a good 'ol fashioned Midwestern rivalry, guns slingin'. Ever since the Missouri Tigers left the Big 12 it just hasn't been the same and who wouldn't pay to see a couple conference legends go up against each other in Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant?
5. It's a sports town through and through
Since the 19th century Kansas City has been a hub for all professional sports. From the Federal League Packers to the Scouts, Kansas City has a rich sports tradition. Jackie Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs before breaking the Major League barrier in 1947. It's home to the loudest stadium, Arrowhead, in all of sports and has been a destination point for national recruits in football and basketball. You could go on and on about sports cities, but it's hard to keep Kansas City out of the conversation. Not too mention, it's one city in two states.
4. Public Transportation
A 2.2 mile rail system starting in the River Market to Union Station is currently under construction for public transport operated by Herzog Transit who currently operates rail transit systems in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Austin, Texas. That's some pretty 'major' company for a city. The streetcar is expected to begin carrying passengers in late 2015.
3. Destination point in the Midwest
Over the past few decades Kansas City has become a destination point in the Midwest. Whether you're heading down for a road trip with your boys from Nebraska or coming up for a getaway weekend from Arkansas, people are getting out of Dodge to visit, literally. From the West Bottoms to the Country Club Plaza there's plenty to do and sights to see and we aren't talking cow patches.
2. It's the birthplace of basketball
At least we place claim to it as Dr. James Naismith brought his invention to Lawrence, Kansas in 1898 and adopted the official rules six years later. Regardless of the debate, the heart of America is a special place for the game of basketball and deserves a professional team. Naismith would roll over in his grave.
1. It is home to some of the loudest, craziest, and most enthusiastic fans in all of sports.
People die hard for their teams here. Yes, the Royals have struggled for a good 25 years, but the fans are loyal to their team and did I mention Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs is the one of the loudest stadiums in the world, second by a tenth of a decibel currently to the Seattle Seahawks of Centurylink Stadium, but that's an ongoing battle that is surely to continue changing hands. We're talking Guinness Book. Pair that with the Blue Hell that cheers on the MLS's defending champs Sporting KC and you've got a fan base that can surely get jacked up for years to come for an NBA team.
So, let's ask the question again...why not Kansas City?