Seattle V Sacramento: The Popularity Contest

As we head to the NBA Board of Governors vote on May 15 over the proposed sale of the Kings to a group from Seattle, much will be written about it in the next few days as the vote approaches. For a better understanding, it needs to be recognized that this isn't a going to be an auction. It's a popularity contest.

Let's explain the Sacramento Kings ' situation like this.

In the backwoods of northern California, there's a Maloof girl from a large proud clan who wants to marry the rich guy from Seattle and move there, but needs her family's permission to do so. But she's the family favorite at home, so the other 29 members of the family have an affinity for the local suitor who won't take her away and cause chaos for the family.

It's an eclectic family. All of them have money from various sources, some from their stills, others from oil wells, farming, selling lumber, and so on. Some have huge estates, some more modest. The Seattle rich guy would fit right in, and in fact would be one of the wealthiest members of the family.

He offered the dowry* she wanted, and she was wowed and agreed to his marriage proposal, but the family (which hasn't met and voted yet) appears to be inclined to say no. In response, the Seattle guy has offered a bigger and bigger dowry to her to try to persuade more of the family to support his marriage proposal. And the family certainly likes the idea that their daughters will command a high dowry when they are ready to be wed.

But he has an uphill battle: unless he can get 3/4 of the family to vote for him, the marriage is off. Only eight "no'' votes will leave him in the lurch. And they would rather keep her at home.

If they do tell her no, it would then be up to the Maloof girl to decide if she will stay single, marry the local guy, or hold out for the family to change their mind on the rich Seattle guy.

The family business advisor (let's call him David), who doesn't have a vote but who has the ear of the entire family, has been pushing the local guy to try to match the offer from the rich Seattle guy, and prove he is serious. If he does, the thinking goes, when the family votes they won't feel like they're depriving the Maloof girl of a good future by saying no. And David is also secretly hoping that the Seattle guy will come back later and offer the same dowry to one of the less attractive girls in the family, one that the family won't miss if they move to Seattle.

As we get closer and closer to the vote, David keeps trying to get the local guy's potential proposal more attractive and committed. Meanwhile, the Seattle guy wants to get married NOW, and keeps upping his dowry offer.

The Maloof girl has noticed her family's objections. And just today is saying if they refuse to give her permission to wed the rich Seattle guy, she will not marry the local ... but will ask permission to accept a third of the dowry while letting the Seattle guy come to town and be her "platonic'' roommate ... and promises to try to date the local guy.

This sounds like a potentially messy relation.

Can the rich Seattle guy wow them with an offer so stunning that he can persuade almost the entire family that they won't miss her if she moves away? Are there family members who recognize that this isn't an argument about whether the Seattle guy is "Mr. Right'' but rather that there is nothing wrong with the local guy? Can the local guy provide such an attractive alternative in staying home, that at least eight family members will have no interest in the Seattle guy?

They'll decide Wednesday.

*Yes I know this isn't how a dowry works, but ignore that and go with me here.

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