Whether you hate the WNBA, you love it, or you can simply appreciate what it brings to the basketball landscape, no true ballplayer likes to see a group of their own suddenly out of a job, or a loyal fan base left without a team.
The WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs folded today. The Monarchs were one of the W’s original eight franchises, winning a league championship in 2005 and losing in the WNBA Finals in 2006. Ticha Penicheiro has been the heart and soul of the team, having been there since the beginning while racking up four All-Star nods and becoming the W’s all-time leader in assists. Yolanda Griffith and Ruthie Bolton, also legends in the women’s game, made their mark on the Monarchs. And more recently, Nicole Powell, Kara Lawson and Courtney Paris have been some of the team’s standouts.
From the Associated Press:
The decision was largely based on the Maloof family’s desire to focus all its energy and efforts on the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Maloof Sports & Entertainment had owned both teams.
Now, the WNBA is left scurrying to try to find a new owner for the organization and a suitable market: with the most logical place being the Bay Area, perhaps in Oakland or San Jose.
League president Donna Orender said in a statement Friday that the league is in discussions with potential investors to relocate the Monarchs to the San Francisco area in time for next season.
Joe Maloof said his ownership group is now, “dedicated to bringing the Sacramento Kings back to championship caliber form.” The Kings have one of the NBA teams in financial trouble in recent years, with issues involving a potential new arena and rumors of relocation.