Kansas City Rumors
Following the news of his passing, several members of the Sacramento Kings family expressed their condolences and shared memories of the man affectionately known by his nickname, Chocolate Thunder. Kings TV Color Analyst Jerry Reynolds “[Darryl] was very likable, he had a big personality and teammates really enjoyed being around him. I don’t think there are very many people who knew him or played with him that didn’t like him. I was at a game as a college coach in Kansas City when he broke a backboard, just shattered it right over the top of Bill Robinzine, and it was a highlight for weeks.”
As for that chatter about renovating Power Balance Pavilion? The suggestion that George Maloof advanced in conversations with reporters last spring? Let’s just say it’s been a very quiet summer. Members of one prominent group advocating a Power Balance makeover are still trying to arrange a formal meeting. “We’re ready to help in any way we can in advising the ownership group relative to the arena issue, whether it’s a renovation or a new project that makes sense,” said Greg Van Dusen, who was an executive with the team when the Kings relocated from Kansas City in 1985 and currently serves as spokesman for a group that includes an architect and engineer involved with the construction of Arco Arena I and II. “We’re passionate about the Kings. We brought them here. We’ve been working on this pro bono for 3 1/2 years. That’s not a complaint; it was our decision. We just love the Kings and want the team to stay in Sacramento.”
Two people involved in the process said the same thing independent of one another last week: Seattle is going forward with its arena plan whether or not the Kings become available next month. The idea is for the NBA to have no choice the next time a team is sold or is interested in moving; with a new building, Seattle folk believe their city will vault to the top of the relocation list, ahead of towns like Kansas City that already have NBA-ready arenas built. (Kansas City’s Sprint Center was built by the arena-building arm of AEG, the mega- corporation run by billionaire Phillip Anschutz, who owns Staples Center and a share of the Lakers.) In this vein, Seattle views its opponent as Anaheim, not Sacramento.
Sacramento city leaders have long said the private investment would be around $130 million towards the $400 million for the total project. Sources said by using Kansas City’s paradigm, if A.E.G. contributes $50 million, that will leave $80 million for the Maloofs and the NBA to put towards the private investment portion for funding the arena. “We don’t know for sure what A.E.G. will be doing,” said Jeremiah Jackson of Think Big, the group charged with getting the project done. “It was $53 million in Kansas City, but the deal terms haven’t been finalized. However, that’s certainly the model that we’re trying to emulate.”