Coming off a year in which the naming rights for the team's home arena belonged to Power Balance, an athletic performance wristband company that was forced to admit its wristbands offered no actual performance benefits, the Kings apparently are considering a mattress company as the building's new sponsor.
Sleep Train Mattress Centers, a Rocklin, Calif., company with more than 100 locations throughout the Golden State, is a candidate to win the naming rights to what was once known as ARCO Arena, the Sacramento Bee reports. The name would be appropriate, since Kings games over the last few years truly have been snoozefests for fans. The Kings are 88-224 for a .392 win percentage in the last four seasons, and have not finished with a winning record since 2005-06.
This is a sorry fate for what was once one of the toughest venues in the league for opposing teams. The clanging cowbells distracted storied teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz at the height of their powers, and the Kings came within one game of the NBA Finals in 2001-02. There is even Facebook page titled "Sacramento Kings 2002 NBA World Champions" in reference to the popular opinion among many non-Lakers fans that the officiating in that Western Conference Finals was slanted against the Kings. At the time the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, was hailed as a model for midsize market ownership.
But the Maloofs have done much to confirm suspicions that they want to move the team to Anaheim. In addition to negotiating embarrassing, cut-rate arena naming deals, the Maloofs have backed out of an agreement with the city to keep the Kings from relocating.
Maybe they intend to ride the Sleep Train right out of Sacramento.
Photo via Flickr/neighborhoods.org