SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Denver Nuggets coach George Karl took a walk Tuesday to see some of his favorite places in Sacramento before his team played the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Karl hopes it was not the last time he could do so as a coach.
With the Kings’ impending sale and possible relocation to Seattle, Karl finds himself torn.
“I think everybody knows I’m a Seattle guy and I want basketball back in Seattle, but I don’t want basketball out of Sacramento,” Karl said. “It’s a politically correct answer, but it’s a truthful answer on how I feel.”
Karl coached the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1996 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls. That season, the Sonics beat the Kings in four games in a first-round, best-of-five playoff series.
Karl said his ears were ringing from the arena noise after the Sonics clinched the series in Sacramento.
“It’s a fun city to come to,” Karl said. “I hope (NBA commissioner David) Stern will consider expansion, but I don’t think he will. I don’t know who will make the decision. I hear the board of governors, the lawyers, the courts. I have no idea who will make the decision.”
Karl recalled several cities that had teams move, such as Baltimore losing the NFL’s Colts to Indianapolis and the NFL’s Cleveland Browns relocating to Baltimore and becoming the Ravens.
Then there’s the Sonics’ move to Oklahoma City in 2008.
“There’s still hatred 30 years later over these situations,” Karl said. “I know there are a lot of people in Seattle that are still upset about the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they’re never going to let it go.”