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Bleed Black and Purple

Bleed Black and Purple is a blog dedicated to the Sacramento Kings.

Blake Ellington is a writer and editor who has covered the Sacramento Kings for three years. He is a contributor to The Sacramento Bee, producer of the documentary Small Market, Big Heart, and a social media enthusiast.

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Kings Lobby

Artist’s rendering of what the inside of Sacramento’s new arena could look like. Courtesy: AECOM, April 2013


Monday’s recommendation by the NBA’s Relocation Committee was a big deal. Though the Kings staying in Sacramento isn’t quite ironclad at this point, we’re in a very good spot.

Coming off the news, the Here We Stay campaign is launching a project that gives Kings fans a platform to speak directly to the potential new owners of the team. The #HereWeWish project is an effort to show appreciation for Vivek Ranadivé, Mark Mastrov and the rest of the “whales” and also to illustrate how excited the fans are about the possibility of keeping the team and building a new arena.
To participate all you have to do is share a “wish” for the team and/or the arena. Click here to see Here We Stay’s description of the project.

The NBA’s Expanding Presence in India


File photo of Vivek Ranadive


India native Vivek Ranadivé has been a shot in the arm for Sacramento’s bid to match Seattle’s offer on the Kings. His presence in the group of “whale” investors is often referred to as a “game changer” in the fight to keep the team in town.

Ranadivé has talked about turning the next generation of the NBA into “NBA 3.0,” which he describes as a league with more of a focus on technology and globalization. David Stern, who recently visited India, has shown strong interest in expanding the NBA brand into the country.
I spoke with Karan Madhok of the blog Madhok covers basketball and the NBA from an India perspective on his site. Madhok said he became interested in writing about the sport because he attended a “rare high school in India where basketball was more important than Cricket.”
I appreciate him taking the time to answer a few questions. Click here for some excerpts from the interview.

Dusty Baker is one of the growing number of voices in Sacramento’s corner.

Hated by Kings fans far and wide, Kobe Bryant shared some optimistic comments with reporters about the team’s chances of staying in Sacramento Saturday night.

“They’re not going nowhere,” Bryant said. “The cowbells are still (clanging) … I predict we’ll be back here next year. You guys have been saying the same thing for three years.”

Bryant joins a long list of recognizable people in the sports world who in recent months have publicly stated they don’t think the Kings are leaving Sacramento and/or don’t want the team to leave.

Read who else is in Sacramento’s corner at


Festivities Set Stage for Here We Buy Night 2

‘Here We Buy’ Night PregameSACRAMENTO–

There is a lot on the line and there is little time.

Sunday’s Kings v. 76ers game is Here We Buy Night 2. NBA Commissioner David Stern and the Board of Governors may come to a decision on the fate of the Kings on April 3. Kings fans have been outstanding over the last two-plus years. Whether it has been at the games or at City Hall, they have made their presence felt. Here We Buy Night 2 (and the City Council meeting on Tuesday) is an opportunity for Kings fans to possibly write the final chapter of this saga and leave it all out there on the floor.

This game can accomplish a lot.

Kings fans can show the league how serious they are about keeping their team and building a new entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento. They can show appreciation of the city’s work on the term sheet.




Regulating Emotion: A DeMarcus Cousins Story


File photo


DeMarcus Cousins has lived up to his negative reputation coming out of college, and then some.

The Kings knew the risks that came with drafting the Kentucky big man. They took him with the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft anyway because of his immense talent. No one disputes Cousins has the potential to be one of the best centers in the NBA, but after two-plus seasons, there aren’t many people in Sacramento (and even nationally) anymore who believe his talent is enough to mask his dysfunctional patterns.

Following the incident last Sunday, when Cousins was ejected after sending an elbow to the head of Mike Dunleavy, head coach Keith Smart sounded lost when taking questions about what to do with his troubled center.



Fans Pledge to Buy Season Tickets if Kings Stay

Kings fans at a January 2013 game at Sleep Train Arena.


On the heels of last month’s emotional “Here We Buy Night,” the local grassroots campaigns to keep the team in Sacramento are gearing up for the second round.

The March 24 Kings v. 76ers game is “Here We Buy Night 2.” The goal of the game will be to show support for the city council members who value keeping the Kings and building a new arena, illustrate to the NBA that Sacramento is still a viable market and show support Mayor Kevin Johnson as he prepares to fly to New York City on April 3 to make his case to the NBA Board of Governors. Fans will do this by organizing for events before the game and participating in chants and other activities during the game.

Similar to the first Here We Buy Night, the Here We Stay campaign has set up a charity ticket donation system…

Read more about the next Here We Buy Night, and find out how you can donate tickets, on


File Image of Ron Burkle

Ron Burkle has been a long topic of discussion in Sacramento since he was name-dropped by Mayor Kevin Johnson to the NBA as a potential suitor to purchase the Kings in 2011.

Last week, Mayor Johnson made it official as he announced that Burkle and fellow billionaire Mark Mastrov are willing to partner to purchase the team from the Maloofs and build a new arena at the Downtown Plaza site. Mastrov will be the lead on the purchase of the team, while Burkle will head up the effort to build the arena.

This isn’t the first time Burkle has stepped out of the shadows to try to save a professional franchise. In 1999, he helped Mario Lemieux assume control of the Pittsburgh Penguins and pull the struggling franchise out of financial ruin. Not only did he help financially with the team, he also negotiated the deal for the team’s CONSOL Energy Center, which opened in 2010.

I spoke to Mark Belko, a business reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who has covered the dealings of the Penguins and Burkle extensively. Belko has written some fantastic pieces on Burkle and was kind enough to share some insight into the billionaire’s history in Pittsburgh. There are some interesting parallels between what he has done in Pittsburgh and what he is trying to do in Sacramento.

To read what Belko has to say about Burkle, including what he thinks about the situation Sacramento is in, visit Bleed Black and Purple.

The movement to keep the Kings in Sacramento has gone international.

A Kings fan teaching in Thailand recently informed his class about what is going on in Sacramento and recorded this video of his students chanting “Sacramento” and holding various signs that said “Here We Stay” and “6th man,” among others.

Also, take a look at the chalkboard.


Following the Kings’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night, I caught up with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to get their thoughts on the state of the Kings and the possibility of the team moving to Seattle.

They both had kind things to say about Sacramento.

Read what Parker and Ginobili had to say at