Articles | Coronavirus

Sacramento Kings to furlough approximately 34% of staff, per report

The Sacramento Kings will be furloughing around 100 employees according to a report from the Sacramento Bee's Jason Anderson.

The Sacramento Kings will furlough roughly 100 employees, or roughly 34% of their work force, for a four month period beginning June 1st, according to The Sacramento Bee's Jason Anderson. The Bee obtained a copy of an email from Kings President of Business Operations John Rinehart informing employees of the decision.

Via the Bee:

€œSince all live events have been cancelled or postponed in the arena for at least the next several months, we need to reduce our operations to meet our current economic situation,€ Rinehart said in the email. €œWe delayed this for as long as possible but, unfortunately, the harsh economic realities facing the live sports and entertainment industries were just too much to overcome.€

€œThroughout our evaluation process, our top priority has been to preserve jobs while maintaining pay and benefits for as many people as possible, for as long as possible,€ Rinehart said. €œIn late April, we committed to paying all full-time employees through the end of May and we will keep that promise. However, due to the sudden and severe financial impacts to our business, I regret to announce that effective June 1 we have made the difficult decision to implement a four-month furlough for a portion of our workforce.€

Rinehart's email did note that the furloughed employees would continue to receive medical benefits, according to Anderson.

More from Rinehart, via the Bee:

€œExecutives across the company are taking substantial salary reductions and forgoing annual bonuses, we have frozen all non-essential spending and hiring, and are eliminating the company match for the 401(k). Ownership is also committed to personally funding the essential functions of the business so that we can ensure the long term viability of the organization.€

The furloughs will not impact basketball operations such as the front office, coaching, scouting, or health and training personnel. Although players are receiving pay cuts as an additional 25% goes into escrow, the team is still obligated to pay player salaries on time.

This is devastating news for the impacted workers. They're being put in an awful situation through no fault of their own. I had hoped at the outset of all this that the Kings and other NBA teams would be able to endure the revenue losses without impacting the day to day employees. The Kings did for a time, but no longer. I'm just sad it's come to this, and my heart goes out to those receiving this news.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 18, 2020 3:07 pm

This is really unfortunate for those employees. My heart goes out to them.

From the sports side, this doesn’t look good for the Kings. In my quick google search of teams that have furloughed employees it looks like the Kings the first to do this in the NBA. Some MLB teams have begun furloughing employees as well. Most recently were the financially strapped Marlins, who have the lowest payroll in baseball. I really hope this isn’t a sign of the Kings struggling financially which would likely effect free agency and basketball operations.

Marty
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May 18, 2020 4:23 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I thought GSW furloughed 1700 people and then laid them off?

Adamsite
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May 18, 2020 4:32 pm
Reply to  Marty

I believe those were limited to part-time day of event only staff, but I could be wrong. I think what sets this apart is the Kings just furloughed 1/3 of their full-time employees.

SacramentoProud
May 18, 2020 6:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Kings are definitely not the first. I remember seeing a ticket sales rep from the Jazz say that he was laid off right when everything began (had to have been March). He said he was with the team 10 years. Unreal times.

RikSmits
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May 18, 2020 9:16 pm

Utah Jazz laid off a small percentage of employees in early April and furloughed a larger group on May 8th. The reports are not very detailed but the furloughs seem to cover full time Jazz employees.

richie88
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May 18, 2020 11:12 pm

IIRC, the 76ers were gonna furlough some employees, but changed course after a backlash.

Otis
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May 18, 2020 3:59 pm

Very unfortunate, but nice that they are furloughing instead of laying them off. I’m assuming it doesn’t affect their ability either way to secure unemployment benefits, but keeping them on medical coverage is important.

PastorOfMuppets
May 22, 2020 2:24 pm
Reply to  Otis

The downside, though, is that by waiting this long it’ll affect the amount of time that they can receive worthwhile unemployment benefits. The extra $600/week from federal is done with at the end of July, so even if their benefits kick in on exactly the 1st (they won’t), there will only be three pay cycles to look forward to with the maximum amount. After that, they’re looking at whatever California’s maximum is (which I’m not sure of, as I’m in Illinois), which doesn’t make for a great living.

Marty
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May 18, 2020 4:19 pm

Just awful.

The Sacramento Zoo just announced they are opening June 1st, which is kind of huge. I for one hope things start to open up quickly, and maybe our friends over at G1C won’t have to wait all that long to return to work.

TheFifthMookie
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May 18, 2020 5:07 pm
Reply to  Greg

With roughly 10% (+/- 5%) of the US population having had or having COVID at this time, there’s still plenty of us around to resume full on pandemic if we aren’t careful. Tough one to figure out. I don’t have the answers.

Otis
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May 18, 2020 5:22 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

I think it’s hard to argue with people who are looking for a foolproof solution. Listening to the scientists is the smart thing to do, but it’s still a shitty path forward. The reality is, the economy is still going to be screwed if you re-open too quickly, it’s just going to be screwed longer.

Better to just take our medicine now and clean up the economy afterwards. Doesn’t look like we’re heading that route though.

Good chance many parts of this country are back in lockdown later this year when the rest of the world his mostly gotten back to business.

richie88
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May 18, 2020 11:30 pm
Reply to  Otis

I doubt the rest of the world will be back in business later this year. It sounds like Russia & Brazil are also rushing to end their lockdown prematurely. Even in countries that performed well (ex: Germany, Taiwan & S. Korea), I don’t think enough people were infected to provide herd immunity for their population. The world probably won’t be back in business until there’s a vaccine.

Otis
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May 19, 2020 5:13 am
Reply to  richie88

The countries who are actively testing and tracing will be as back to normal as you can get in the current environment.

1951
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May 18, 2020 5:09 pm
Reply to  Greg

The problem is that individuals want all the benefits of freedom but none of the responsibilities.

How effing hard is it to be reasonable? Just fucking wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance! It’s not that hard.

Klam
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May 18, 2020 5:10 pm
Reply to  1951

Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, and though the couple I go to require a mask, I still see people not wearing masks or not practicing keeping their distance from people. That combined with some politicians’ decisions with this whole thing, while I know it is not the only factor into the progress with the current situation, but to me as long as that keeps happening that’s one of the things that will make it harder for us to get where we need to get. That’s why it’s going to be a long while before I’m comfortable going out to certain places whenever they decide to reopen. Like, I’m a 24 Hour Fitness member, and even with the new COVID-19 policy they have on their website and the new rules/cleaning procedures they are undertaking when they reopen, I will not be comfortable going because there are still people out there not taking things seriously. Myself and the gym employees can be as careful as can be, but all it takes is one careless person for things to get out of hand.

1951
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May 18, 2020 5:18 pm
Reply to  Klam

Two bike shops a mile a part. One let in unlimited people and not a single person wore a mask, neither employees nor customers. The second was only letting people in by appointment and the employees and I were wearing a mask.

Same city. Same economic demographics. Same pandemic. Vastly different decision making.

I was glad that stores were open but I gave my business to the latter one and didn’t even go inside the first one.

Be open. Just be reasonable (narrator: the people generally weren’t reasonable.).

Sacto_J
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May 19, 2020 9:41 am
Reply to  1951

comment image

Marty
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May 18, 2020 5:19 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’ve been running errands the last few days and I’m not seeing masks. At the bike shop, all four employees weren’t wearing masks. At the 7-11, I observed 17 people in the time I was there, I was the only one wearing a mask. At the nursery, only the cashiers had masks on, not the floor staff. I’d say 30% of the customers had masks on.

Without question, wearing my mask, I was not the norm.

Like it it or not, people appear to be over it. I think if you’ve really been home-bound to the extreme, it’s going to be eye-opening.

And on the gym, our pool is open but you have to reserve a lane, and every other lane is closed. No locker room, which I’m fine with. Our swim team is going to make it work, but there isn’t much other members can really do.

Klam
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May 18, 2020 5:24 pm
Reply to  Marty

Well that’s exactly why I will be hesitant going to certain places that reopen, even here in the Bay Area where rules have been more strict. If people are of the “over it” mindset, then I certainly do not want to be in the same space publicly.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 18, 2020 7:17 pm
Reply to  Klam

My gym is opening up next week with some pretty strict guidelines regarding social distancing and sanitizing equipment. Still, I’m not heading back anytime soon. If there were any place where a bug like COVID could spread, it’s a gym.

I’m lucky to be up in the foothills on property and space to stay active. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks up here who have given up on the new proximity norms and masks. Things have gotten very lax, very quickly. All the more reason to avoid the gym and other gathering points. FWIW, my small little town has one confirmed case (as far as I know). We haven’t even seen the first wave yet and I fear wave two is gonna hit with a vengeance.

Kingsguru21
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May 19, 2020 3:36 am
Reply to  1951

I’m not wearing a mask unless it’s required, if I’m being honest. It’s just something I don’t want to do. And I wont unless absolutely forced.

Otis
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May 19, 2020 9:05 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You should wear your mask in public, bro. But I know you aren’t necessarily in the minority.

Frankly, I think governments first, and businesses secondarily, should require masks for citizens and their customers.

ArsLegendi
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May 19, 2020 9:30 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You should consider that masks are for protecting other people, not you, if “I don’t want to” is the only reason you’re not wearing one.

RobHessing
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May 19, 2020 12:26 pm
Reply to  ArsLegendi

Plain and simple, I wear a mask for the comfort of others…and that I’ve never gotten so many compliments on how much better I look.

1951
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May 19, 2020 9:56 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Why?

Marty
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May 19, 2020 10:27 am
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Otis
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May 19, 2020 10:50 am
Reply to  Marty

Oh, that reminds me – a request to the powers that be here: Can these links be programmed to open in a different browser tab?

1951
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May 19, 2020 10:53 am
Reply to  Otis

(Right click)

/smiley face

Otis
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May 19, 2020 10:54 am
Reply to  1951

That’s the opposite of how it should work! Right click to get it to open on the same page!

Kingsguru21
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May 20, 2020 11:37 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

It was the middle of the night and I wish I had elaborated on the original comment but oh well. It is what it is. I haven’t seen any real medical evidence that wearing masks does anything, but I’ve seen a ton of evidence doing so is being done for PR purposes. We’re not talking about medical workers here, but most of them wear shields when doing, for instance, COVID tests. I know, I’ve seen actual testing in person. I didn’t wear a mask then either, but I have generally kept my distance from people (more for comfort).

I don’t like wearing masks, and I’m not going out places willy nilly either. I only wear one at Costco because they won’t allow you in without one now. I’m aware health departments are saying masks are necessary but that seems far more PR and CYA than a medical reason. I would suspect that the biggest factor in slowing this down was eliminating mass gatherings, particularly in the US where our healthcare system is a joke and half on a good day.

Sorry for the late responses, I’ve been dealing with life stuff, particularly car repair life stuff (yes, the hybrid battery on my Mom’s response for the 6 people here who follow me on Twitter). Which is ions better than contracting the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, incidentally.

1951
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May 20, 2020 11:46 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Well, in the context of conducting business indoors, it’s not about you!

There is a ton of evidence about how we share crap from our bodies with each other and how wearing masks indoors changes the math of doing so.

Here is a pretty neutral take on the issue, for example:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/05/14/here-is-more-evidence-for-face-mask-use-with-covid-19-coronavirus/#7693204a1060

Kosta
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May 20, 2020 1:58 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I think masks are cool.
comment image

Kingsguru21
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May 20, 2020 4:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

He was a grade a scumbag tho……

Marty
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May 18, 2020 5:25 pm
Reply to  Greg

100% with Greg. IMHO, we need to just accept we have a dangerous virus in our population, and just try to live with it as best we can.

Otis
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May 18, 2020 5:34 pm
Reply to  Marty

Problem is, the virus sort of dictates how we live (or die) with it. It’s still all going to come down to how we (collectively) value life vs. profits.

Again, there’s no easy or foolproof path here. And my income is pretty secure, so I don’t have that pressure currently. But I also think it’s a stretch to think speeding up the process of getting things back up and running is going to save the economy.

A good portion of Americans aren’t going to get back out there, until there is a vaccine or pretty damn viable therapeutics available.

1951
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May 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Reply to  Marty

“we need to just accept we have a dangerous virus in our population, and just try to live with it as best we can”

There are inherent societal disparities to this line of thinking. That may work relatively well (fewer causalities and impacted health systems) for the working and upper classes of Sacramento and various places, but Navajo nation and Harlem may take the brunt of the effect of that style of decision-making throughout the land.

Point being, on an individual basis it’s easy to “accept” the danger when the costs of the collective individual decisions are externalized onto others (and that someone else is generally removed from sight, mind and immediate social structure).

Carl
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May 19, 2020 7:45 am
Reply to  Marty

just try to live with it as best we can.

At what point does this become impossible? Hospital capacity has been overrun where there have been hot spots. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that we’re only where we are now because everyone has stayed home. Do we shut down when hospitals are full? The number of people losing their lives should factor in as well. We’ve lost what, 40,000 people per month during a stay at home order? How many is too many?

TheFifthMookie
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May 19, 2020 11:12 am
Reply to  Carl

I’m dangerously flirting with politics here, but nearly all the big name people wanting to open up the economy are the ultra-rich who own lots of shit, not the people who work for them. I see this discussion as inherently classist, where the well-off want things to ‘go back to normal’ because they’re not at risk, but those who would be going back to work would be the ones at risk, and they’re not even the ones making the most money off the activity.

Marty
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May 19, 2020 11:15 am
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

Agree Cinco Mook.

You may have seen it already, but this is an incredible article. I highly recommend reading the entire thing.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/americas-racial-contract-showing/611389/?fbclid=IwAR138vHmtd0gJfExjdQ-tirHtfB3xZ9a-O003BWjoLZpk7Bz12bItm4Y6NM

richie88
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May 18, 2020 11:22 pm
Reply to  Greg

I’m worried about a bad 2nd wave (based on what I’ve read, the 2nd wave was the worst wave of Spanish flu), but California handled the 1st wave pretty well. If COVID-19 flare up, I think Newsom would put the state back in lockdown. I just hope that any spike causing a lockdown wouldn’t be too bad.

Marty
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May 19, 2020 7:17 am
Reply to  richie88

2nd wave…don’t you think that’s inevitable?

To me a wave suggests something goes, then comes back. My own pea brain just assumes its all around me right now.

Otis
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May 19, 2020 9:04 am
Reply to  Marty

Really hard to know without diverse testing, throughout our populations. I’d feel much better about being out and about if communities were actively testing and tracing their local populations, and not just those who are symptomatic or have been in contact with COVID-19 positives.

1951
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May 19, 2020 11:18 am
Reply to  Otis

That’s been the undeveloped solution to balance the various interests that has been possible this entire time. There is no perfect solution, but it is a lot easier to maintain business and public services when you can figure out who is sick and who is not. The host does better when you can operate precisely with a scalpel, as opposed to bluntly with a sledge hammer.

All the debate on “I want my haircut now” versus “stay the eff at home” is a just a decisive distraction from the real issue: the failure to comprehensively test and trace. Wide-scale testing and tracing is the balance to the economy/health equation that has been pushed into the closet by American hubris and incompetence. We had time to prepare such a system before the lock-down, and failed to set it up. We have had time to prepare a testing system during the lock-down, and failed to set it up. There is plenty of blame to go around for that failure including failures at the governmental level, the private business sector, in our local communities and at the individual level. All of it derives from our limited and delusional sense of American “freedom” and exceptionalism.

Anywho, the all-or-nothing blind fight against the virus in this nation-state is purely the result in failures of both culture and leadership.

Meh, screw it. Let’s all fight oppression with some freedom fries.

Otis
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May 19, 2020 11:34 am
Reply to  1951

Are you saying that “more data is better than less data”? Who knew??

Marty
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May 19, 2020 11:20 am
Reply to  Otis

Which is why I just assume everyone has it. I’m a little lucky I suppose, I’ve been an extreme germaphobe for nearly a decade, so it’s not that difficult to move through the world and not touch anything.

richie88
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May 18, 2020 11:18 pm
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May 19, 2020 1:09 am
Reply to  richie88

“Please don’t zoo”?

Marty
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May 19, 2020 8:13 am
Reply to  Kosta

“Honey we haven’t left the house in weeks so lets go see some large animals in cages.”

ArsLegendi
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May 18, 2020 4:31 pm

This seems to be at odds with the idea pushed by both the NBA and the governor that we’ll be seeing live sports again soon. Though, I suppose it’s compatible with the idea of having games with no audience waiting at gates and buying concessions.

Anyway, yeah, definitely better to be furloughed than laid off outright, but this still sucks.

BeTheBall
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May 18, 2020 9:27 pm
Reply to  ArsLegendi

Tangential thought regarding games with no fans…..will the TV broadcasts be subjected to the same obnoxious music and beats without fans there to “enjoy” them?

ZillersCat
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May 19, 2020 7:51 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

My wife hates the loud music played at games. Honey is that you?

TheFifthMookie
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May 19, 2020 11:13 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

My tangential though is will they set up a ‘courtside’ camera view? VR Courtside? that would get me to get a VR set just to watch an NBA game up close like that.

ArsLegendi
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May 19, 2020 11:34 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

I would find that kind of hilarious. And I would love to watch a game on TV where I can hear what the players are saying. But then again, I was extremely weirded out when I recently watched an audience-free WWE match with both of those features.

SacramentoProud
May 18, 2020 6:34 pm

Has anyone heard from their ticket rep? I’ve built a great relationship with mine and I would hate for it to happen to them. Of course, I wish it didn’t happen to any Kings employees.

G-naps
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May 18, 2020 7:05 pm

any employee?
comment image

SacramentoProud
May 18, 2020 7:10 pm
Reply to  G-naps

lol Maybe something stronger than a furlough is necessary for him

G-naps
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May 18, 2020 7:14 pm

lets start small with a furlough….then maybe a nice “your services, along with the GM’s, are no longer needed” when things pick back up

TheFifthMookie
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May 19, 2020 11:14 am
Reply to  G-naps

“You’ve already voted for this comment”

ZillersCat
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May 19, 2020 7:40 am
Reply to  G-naps

Alright. Have a stabbie and a plus 1
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cng
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cng
May 19, 2020 12:12 pm

Love my ticket rep. Keeping my fingers crossed for him and all of the employees who have been furloughed. I hope it’s temporary.

Revenge2002
May 18, 2020 10:32 pm

Terrible look for the Kings ownership and the NBA. The league has a line of credit for teams, even assuming the Kings could not afford this (which is total nonsense) they could borrow it.

Corporatists showing their colors. They’d rather take a media hit and assume they can play it off as just a business trying to survive to certain sympathetic demographics (again, total nonsense) than pay their employees and be good community partners.

Besides the line of credit, the correct business decision in their industry was to purchase pandemic insurance like Wimbledon, but instead the frontline people suffer the most because of corporate incompetence and greed.

RORDOG
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May 18, 2020 10:56 pm

This part is interesting:
“Ownership is also committed to personally funding the essential functions of the business so that we can ensure the long term viability of the organization.”

Like obviously as owners they have to say/do that. One just has to wonder how they define “essential functions” as they relate to “long term viability”.

There was this other Kings site I used to comment on, I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, but I advocated for the “RORDOG Re-Re-Rebuild” that essentially just tore things down to the foundation from a salary cap perspective. Essentially, operate at the salary floor for a few years to offset the cost of getting rid of Vlade and instituting the most competent front office and coaching/training staff money can buy. Some seem to believe that there’s no way the Kings can afford to get rid of Vlade and/or Luke now. In reality their combined salary is probably equal to making a few savvy player transactions.

I don’t want to make light of tragedy, but as they say, never let a crisis go to waste. The ownership group could dramatically cut player salary, and use that money to finally put the team in a position to succeed over the long-term. They’d probably have enough money left over to avoid furloughing 1/3 of their full-time employees as well.

MyHumbleOpinion
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May 19, 2020 8:34 am

I don’t know much about Viveks finances, but I do know it is a lot more than just the Kings. The Kings play 41 games a year at G1C. The other 324 days/evenings are conventions/concerts/graduation ceremonies etc. These things are gone for probably many months, maybe over a year. They probably won’t resume until a vaccine is available or herd immunity is achieved. The next year or two can’t be looking to good for Vivek and the organization right now. I hate to see layoffs/furloughs as well, but it looks to be unavoidable.

RikSmits
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May 19, 2020 9:20 am

I hope this doesn’t spark a political debate that has to be nuked, but my point is more geared towards macro-economics and capitalism in the world, not specifically towards parties in the USA:

IMO, the stakeholder system where shareholders control companies and by and large are only interested in getting dividend is being exposed as inherently flawed (not news to some, not acceptable for others).

Now, when companies are under pressure, they don’t turn towards their shareholders to bail them out, but demand money from the government. They don’t take care of their employees, but cut them loose. Companies do not have sufficient financial reserves, because the board demands a new, big HQ building, the shareholders their dividend and goals are predominantly short term.

This will not change as these stakeholders are the ones in charge, and are too much invested into continueing the current system. Employees get furloughed, lose ther jobs, are faced with foreclosure. Shareholders in many cases are only affected on paper.
To bring it back to the Kings; the furloughed employees feel the pain, even higher staff and players may face a loss of income. Vivek, yeah, I’m sure he feels the pain on paper. But thgose are rich people’s problems.

I know this is a gross simplification, but it can also be coined a helicopter view. I will not pretend that I am not part of that system, and reluctant to change things. But i am less reluctant than I was. Something feels inherently wrong, more than ever.

Sorry for the somber thoughts, and mods, feel free to delete if not appropriate.

MyHumbleOpinion
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May 19, 2020 9:53 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Totally acceptable point of view that definitely should not be deleted. I am definitely not trying to spark a political debate and am a huge advocate for everyone being able to have there own take on just about everything. Don’t want to come off as a Vivek defender, but I was reading the comments and realized there was not much from the other side of the argument and thought it would be appropriate to point that out. These are strange times with no easy/good answers.

RikSmits
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May 19, 2020 11:35 am

Oh, it was more a general comment, not aimed at you. I get your opinion and it is not unreasonable. A bit too humble, perhaps.

TheFifthMookie
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May 19, 2020 11:17 am
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I was this close to an ‘owerneship class’ rant myself elsewhere in this thread. Having a major part of our society (read: businesses) mandated (often by law) to be operated to maximize profit over *everything else* is not ideal for a fair or equitable society. If a person was solely motivated by greed, as businesses are, we’d call them a sociopath. We govern ourselves in the business environment for sociopathic reasons.

RikSmits
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May 19, 2020 11:36 am
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

Well said; much more succinct than my ramblings.

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