Kings are coming to Reno |

Kings are coming to Reno

Darrell Moody
Appeal Sports Writer

The Sacramento Kings visit Lawlor Events Center Sunday night for an exhibition game against Oklahoma City/New Orleans, giving Northern Nevada fans a chance to see the NBA up close.

I’m happy to see them come. During my three-year stay in Sacramento, I was a huge fan, and even attended a few games in person when I could get my hands on tickets, which was hard to do.

It will be nice to see some of the holdovers like Mike Bibby and Brad Miller, two of the top players in the Western Conference.

I asked a Kings official if the game was against Oklahoma/New Orleans because of ex-Nevada star Kirk Snyder, the former New Orleans/Oklahoma City shooting guard, who happened to get traded to Houston in the off-season.

The official said it wasn’t. The Kings feel they have a lot of fans in Northern Nevada.

There has been plenty of discussion about the Kings leaving the area if they don’t get a downtown arena. I kind of like Arco’s location, but Joe and Gavin Maloof, the Kings’ owners, want a new place to call home.

Have you ever been in downtown Sacramento in the evening? What a mess to get around. Think what it might be like 40 nights a year if the Kings get their wish for a new, modern arena. Getting around Manhattan might be easier. I don’t know if there’s anywhere you could put a new arena that isn’t going to cause traffic issues for government workers and downtown residents alike.

The Kings are an important part of the city without question, and the city has supported them well even when they were a losing franchise.

Since the Maloofs own a hotel-casino in Las Vegas, there has been a lot of talk that they would love to take the team there if talks with Sacramento officials ever break down entirely.

The NBA is holding the all-star game this year in Las Vegas, which may be because of the Maloofs and other Las Vegas officials.

I know the NBA doesn’t want a team there because of the gambling and point-shaving. Bets are going to be placed whether it’s through legal or illegal channels. One thing the NBA could do is to get all the casinos to agree to not taking bets on a Kings game or any team that possibly ends up there.

I think that if Las Vegas proved it could support an NBA franchise, it should get the opportunity. I think that basketball or pro football are the only sports that stand a chance of attracting fans on a regular basis.

• If you’re a Nevada Wolf Pack sports fan, there are a few things scheduled starting today.

The baseball team concludes its fall season with the Blue-Silver game starting at 9 a.m. today at Peccole Park. Ex-Carson stars Owen Brolsma and Aaron Henry are fighting for starting spots on the Pack roster. Also, Dayton’s Matt Bowman, who has been Nevada’s most-consistent player the last couple of years, returns for his junior season and has moved back to the outfield.

Also, today at 4 p.m., the Pack football team hosts San Jose State in the annual homecoming game. Nevada officials are expecting a crowd of more than 20,000 for the game, which will be televised regionally on ABC. However, if you like your football in person and not on the boob tube, take the short drive and buy a ticket.

The Nevada volleyball team hosts Idaho tonight at 7 at the Old Virginia Street Gym. Nevada has made four NCAA appearances under Devin Scruggs.

Nevada basketball fans will have an opportunity to spend Nevada Day with the men’s and women’s squads.

The free event runs from 2:30 to 4 p.m., and children are urged to wear their Halloween costumes and trick or treat with the basketball players. Anyone attending the event will receive free tickets to the Hawai’i-Nevada soccer match later that night at 7 p.m. at Mackay Stadium.

Nevada men’s basketball team hosts Chico State in an exhibition game on Nov. 7. Admission is $5. Fans who bring a youth or adult coach will get in free.

Nevada’s women’s team hosts Humboldt State in an exhibition game Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

Season tickets for the men’s and women’s are currently being sold at the Legacy Hall box office, while single-game tickets go on sale on Nov. 1.