Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: What’s ours has always been ours, right?

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | January 23, 2013 |

Sometimes in this cynical world we lose track of all the good deeds our elected officials perform in the public interest.

I am here today to recognize one such public official, California State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, who has singlehandedly taken it upon himself to protect our right to have a losing basketball team in Sacramento.

Seems Steinberg is incensed that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is involved in the group that just agreed to purchase the Kings from the goofy Maloofs and intends to move the franchise all the way up to Seattle and rename it the SuperSonics, despite Boeing’s recent troubles. As nice of a city as Seattle is, Steinberg rightly concludes that it’s a long commute for die-hard Kings fans.

It’s great, of course, that someone like Steinberg — a UC Davis law grad, by the way — is willing to use whatever political influence he has to protect one of our vital assets.

To that end he sent a letter yesterday to Fred Klass, the director of the California Department of General Services, requesting some important data.

Writes Steinberg: “I read with distress recent media accounts reporting that Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, is actively engaged in discussions and may now have a general agreement to purchase the NBA’s Sacramento Kings — a franchise which has generated significant jobs and revenue for both our region and the state of California for 27 years — and move it to another state.”

You tell ‘em, Senator. The Kings were born here, they were raised here and they are ours, ours, ours. Never mind that when I was a boy they were known as the Rochester Royals. All I can think is that “Rochester” must have been the name of a Sacramento neighborhood where Put-Us-To-Sleep Arena now stands and someone — maybe Burger King — changed the name from Royals to Kings.

I do remember how sad I was when the team moved to Cincinnati from Rochester — I mean Sacramento — in 1957, then to Kansas City and Omaha, then just Kansas City, then finally back to where it all began, Arco Arena, in the fall of 1985.

What a wild, crazy ride it’s been. Indeed, as Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, the Kings have been called for traveling more than any franchise in NBA history.

But now — at last — they are exactly where God intended them to be.

So I’m completely on board with Darrell Steinberg when he claims the Kings are rightfully ours and Steve Ballmer should empty his deep pockets — $15 billion deep — somewhere else.

But I’ve interrupted a state senator in mid-sentence, so please, Mr. Steinberg, continue.

“I am troubled that a company and a CEO that has for so long enjoyed a prosperous and beneficial working relationship with the state of California and its taxpayers would blatantly engage in activities which are clearly and measurably detrimental to our state’s job and revenue base — not to mention use profits earned through business with our state to appropriate a California-based asset.”

Attaboy, Darrell. Next thing you know this Ballmer creep is going to chop down our redwood trees and cart them to Seattle to build a fancy new basketball arena.

If it’s still not clear to you why our good senator is writing to the director of the Department of General Services, read on.

“I would appreciate your help,” Steinberg adds, “in obtaining some information that in light of these reports is certainly relevant to California taxpayers, particularly those in the Sacramento region.”

Steinberg then asks Klass, the director, how many contracts Microsoft has with the state of California, how much the state has paid Microsoft over the past 10 years, and Microsoft’s record of performance with the state of California.

Concludes Steinberg: “As a state legislator, I am well aware that I have no direct role in the day-to-day management of the state’s technology procurement processes, but I cannot stand idly by while a prominent out-of-state company that has significantly profited from business with the state of California actively attempts to acquire and remove one of my state and my region’s leading private assets.”

Wait a minute, is Ballmer buying the team or is Microsoft? Does Bill Gates know about this?

Presumably, Steinberg’s next letter will be to the folks in Kansas City, explaining why it was OK for Sacramento to steal away that city’s NBA team 27 years ago. He also might want to help the good people of Minneapolis understand why it was OK to steal their NBA team as well and turn it into another lucrative state of California asset known as the Los Angeles Lakers.

I can’t tell you how odd the name “Los Angeles Lakers” sounded at the time, even if Southern California is the land of 10,000 lakes.

Stealing a franchise in professional sports is as common as stealing the basketball at midcourt and taking it the other way. It’s common knowledge in the NBA that unless the other player is knocked dead during the theft, it’s a simple “No harm, no foul.”

The above-referenced Michael Rand, quoting Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” summed it all up nicely when he wrote “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

So true, especially in the brutal world of professional sports.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

 
Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The magic is long gone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

 
Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3