This story is mostly about hockey and the fact that Kansas City is no longer viewed (by some, at least) as a logical destination for one of the many distressed NHL franchises.But there was also a mention that from a Kansas City perspective, they aren’t optimistic about landing an NBA franchise either. The suggestion was that a rich owner would need to choose to move their team to Kansas City, implying there aren’t rich owners in Kansas City ready to attract a team to their home city.
A rich guy buying a distressed team somewhere else, making a token effort to make it work in that city, and then re-locating the team to his home city as the conquering hero is a pretty reasonable formula for how this works. That’s exactly what Clay Bennett did in getting the Supersonics out of Seattle to his home in Oklahoma City. And if you can believe the rumours, when Michael Heisley was looking to move the Grizzlies out of Vancouver, his first choice was to move them to his hometown of Chicago as a 2nd team to compete with the Bulls.
From the Vancouver point of view, any development that makes competing cities less likely to land a team is good news. But nobody really knows what Vancouver’s chances are right now. The only city that is definitely on the verge of getting a new NBA team is Anaheim (when and if the Sacramento Kings decide to move – they have a mid-April deadline to apply). Everybody else remains on hold.