Sacramento Raiders? 'It was a done deal'


Sacramento Raiders? 'It was a done deal'

Between 1987 and 1990, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was looking for a new home for his team after a failed venture in Los Angeles. Armed with plenty of land and a $50 million commitment from City Council, Gregg Lukenbill and his Sacramento Kings partnership were in the running. 

It’s all water under the bridge now. Davis, along with plenty of other primary players from the deal have long since passed. The Raiders eventually moved back to Oakland where they’ll stay for the next two years, before relocating again, this time to Las Vegas.

How close did Sacramento come to landing the Raiders? According to Lukenbill, it was happening.

“It was a done deal,” Lukenbill said on The Kings Insider Podcast. “We got the City Council on a 9-0 vote to give Al Davis $50 million for the franchise fee to move here.”

In a strange twist to the story, Davis would have become the managing partner of the Sacramento Kings, as well as retain most of the ownership of the Raiders. 

“We would have had 25 percent of the Raiders, 25 percent of the stadium and the Arena and the team, and Al would have had 75 percent of the Kings,” Lukenbill said.

Al Davis as a basketball man? According to Lukenbill, he was all in. 

“Al was very focused on the Kings, we used to talk about it all the time,” Lukenbill added. “He would have been a much better managing partner than I would have, because he lived and breathed that. That competitive DNA was in his spirit everyday, no matter what sport it was.”

In the end, Davis dragged his feet. The Kings couldn’t get all of their partners on board and City Council eventually pulled their funding. 

The Raiders moved back to Oakland before the 1995 NFL season. Lukenbill lasted until 1992 as the managing partner of the Kings until selling to Jim Thomas. 

Davis wasn’t the only Oakland-based owner Lukenbill spoke to about their professional team. Before landing the Kansas City Kings, he first tried to lure the Oakland A’s to Sacramento. 

“Ironically, I talked to Charlie Finley in 1978 and he was willing to sell the A’s to me for $10 million dollars,” Lukenbill said. “In the 70’s, $10 million was more than I had, I can tell you. He said, ‘listen, when you get real, give me a call, I’m willing to deal.’”

Hiding in the weeds behind Arco Arena II, there are the remnants of the foundation of a baseball field. Lukenbill and his partners had big dreams of the A’s, Raiders and any other professional team they could wrangle into Sacramento. 

Lukenbill and his group were able to secure the Kings and nothing more. Eventually minor league baseball and soccer settled into the Capital City, both finding overwhelming support from Sacramento sports fans.  

Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list


Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Moving on up. Vince Carter came into Monday evening’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons needing just five points to surpass Patrick Ewing for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He got that and a little more.

Carter, 41, picked off a Pistons pass in the second quarter and hammered down a breakaway dunk to score his first two points of the evening. He knocked down a jumper in the lane before halftime to get within one point of Ewing and then moved ahead of the 7-footer with a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The 20-year NBA veteran now sits at 24,817 points. He is 375 points behind the great Jerry West’s 25,192, who currently sits in 21st place on the all-time list.

Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons


Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons

SACRAMENTO -- It’s time for some home cooking. The Sacramento Kings open a six-game homestand Monday night at Golden 1 Center. They’ll host a struggling Detroit Pistons team that has lost three straight and seven of their last eight.

The Kings battled the Utah Jazz all the way down the wire Saturday evening at Vivint Smart Home Arena, before falling in the final minute. Buddy Hield put up 20-plus points for his third straight game to lead Sacramento.

Detroit looked like a playoff team for much of the season and then the wheels fell off their bus. They have plenty of talent, but so far, they are struggling to find chemistry since acquiring All-Star Blake Griffin at the deadline.

Pistons by 3.5

Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- The Kings have struggled to contain Griffin throughout his career. Whether he starts or not, second-year big Skal Labissiere is likely to see plenty of time against the high-scoring power forward. Labissiere is averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes a game in March. He needs to move his feet and avoid foul trouble against Griffin.

Kings: 23-48, fourth place in Pacific

Pistons: 30-39, fourth place in Central

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Pistons: PG Reggie Jackson (ankle) out, PF Jon Leuer (ankle) out.

Decisions, Decisions -- With Bogdanovic out for the evening, Dave Joerger has a tough choice to make. Does he elevate Hield into the starting lineup and disrupt his bench unit? Or does he start veteran Garrett Temple alongside De’Aaron Fox. Hield has earned a look with the starters, but he’s on fire with the second team.

Keep Fighting -- Plenty of fans want the Kings to lay down and preserve their spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. The Kings are trying to build a winning culture around a group of young players. They are developing an identity as the season heads towards its conclusion and there is no reason to let up.

Shoot the 3-ball -- The Kings trail only the Golden State Warriors in 3-point percentage. They hit 14-of-21 from behind the arc against the Jazz, but that’s not enough. The goal should be 30 threes per game from here on out. The team has the shooters, they just need to hoist it up more often.

The Pistons lead the season series 1-0 and are looking for the sweep. Detroit holds a 134-119 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 37-26 edge during the Sacramento-era.