clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sports and politics

Seeing it is time for a new thread, and the fact that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson continues to hold press conferences to grandstand his efforts, I found myself thinking about the intersection of politics and sports today.

My first thought was, is Kevin Johnson - former NBA player - the only mayor in America who would've fought this hard for this long?

I'm inclined to say he is. Yes, he undoubtedly has political reasons for this, as it is believed he has his eyes on a bigger office in the future. But I think those future aspirations only carry KJ just so far, and he has/will reach a point where it is partially a personal crusade as well. While it makes you incredibly popular with a portion of your voting population, my experience is those politicians who stick their necks out too far for sports teams find that it later is used against them just as much as it has done good for them.

The ideal in the sports-politics confluence as a politician is to make your move while your efforts on behalf of the local sports team is real fresh (or current) in people's minds. The longer you wait, the less leverage you have, and the more people sour to the efforts you made. I suspect very few politicians - especially in places where the franchise was lost - come out ahead significantly in the long term.

Author's update - I mentioned this in the comments, but will say it here - I have huge respect for what Kevin Johnson is doing on behalf of his community. He's fighting a good fight. But it seems like he keeps talking about things to just talk about things, not to cover much new ground at this point, like it is his personal agenda now. Will be interesting to see in the long term the impact it has on his electability.

Other things of note today:

Cowbell Kingdom lists 3 "definitive" hurdles that they feel are key to whether and how the Kings may move to Seattle.

NBC Sports ProBasketballTalk covers these hurdles as well, with a bit more depth.