With the post-LeBron news that has come out of NBA headquarters, I have openly begun to question whether the NBA envisions the Pistons long-term in Detroit. Once one of the proudest franchises in the league, the fourth most-valued NBA organization may be on life-support based on recent news posted in the Las Vegas Sun. No matter who you believe in this situation, it is clear that the league and loyalty do not go hand-in-hand.
For wealthy sports franchise owners and their families, the Estate Tax is truly the death nell for keeping a team within the family. For Karen Davidson, this tax has forced her to look at all avenues in order to keep her family’s finances afloat. In New York City, the Steinbrenner family would normally go through what the Davidson family is going for, except for a 2010 loophole that could potentially allow the family to keep the team with relatively few penalties.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Sun is reporting that developers for a new stadium at the north end of the world-famous Strip are “in talks with an NBA franchise” in order to build an NBA-caliber arena. For a city that was heavily criticized by officials for the ruckus that resulted around the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA has demonstrated through the Summer League and the US Team Basketball Camp, that Las Vegas is an NBA city without a team.
So, what are the odds that the Pistons leave town? Following David Stern’s recent comments it seems that any team would have nearly free reign to move their team to a new location. Whether that team are the Pistons, the Sacramento Kings (Maloof properties all in one city?), or the New Orleans Hornets, you can bet that Sin City will open up its tables and venues for an NBA franchise to call its own.