Friday, November 20, 2009

Sacramento Monarchs done, Kings next?

Just four short years ago, the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs were on top of the female basketball world, winning the WNBA Championship. Fast forward to 2009, with a struggling economy and slumping ticket sales for basketball, and the Monarchs are officially wiped off the WNBA's active teams list.

According to news reports, some Sacramento players didn't find out until logging into their Twitter accounts online. Rebekkah Brunson was one such player, who saw the news via her teammate Chantelle Anderson's "tweet".

The Monarchs general manager/coach John Whisenant broke the news earlier to a Sacramento TV station that his WNBA team was no longer going to be backed by the Kings organization. The Kings are currently owned & run by the famous Maloof brothers, Joe and Gavin. Despite the Maloofs being dedicated bball fans and very rich, their two teams have been in trouble in recent times. Many NBA teams are having financial difficulties coupled with lower attendance numbers, which could lead to problems. It's possible the Kings could be looking to move, while the Monarchs are currently homeless, but eyeing the Bay area for their WNBA squad. Golden State has already nixed the idea of adding a female franchise to pair up with the Warriors.

According to the Seattle Times:

"Everyone in this business environment ... you have to do what has to be done," Joe Maloof told the Sacramento Bee. "Our focus is to turn the Kings around, and to do that, we have to put all our efforts and good salespeople on the Kings."

Sacramento was one of the original eight WNBA teams, but also came off a 12-22 season, a league worst. During their history, they had a 224-200 record overall, with several playoff appearances including a 2005 Finals win over Connecticut, and a 2006 Finals loss to Detroit. In 1999, center Yolanda Griffith was the league MVP as well.

Attendance was down 5% for the team this year at Arco Arena, with overall WNBA attendance down a whopping 26% since it's all-time high of 10,864 in 1998. This isn't the first WNBA team to fold or move either. Other women's bball franchises which saw their demise include Cleveland Rockers, Detroit Shock (who recently moved to Tulsa) and Orlando Miracles, who found a new home in Connecticut as the Connecticut Sun.

(Story Source: Sacramento Bee)

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