Journalists in Sacramento are not happy about a Thursday report that its NBA team, The Kings, were in talks to move to Virginia Beach, which comes through in the local media's immediate, en masse takedown of the story in the Virginia-based Inside Business.
The first suggestion that no Sacramento-based reporters were buying the story came from the Sacramento Bee, where a brief item pointing to the report started out not by delivering the news but by questioning its sources: "Inside Business, a Hampton Roads, Va.-based website, using unnamed sources, is reporting that the owners of the Sacramento Kings and officials from Comcast-Spectacor are considering moving the NBA team to the resort city of Virginia Beach and for Comcast to help build and lease a new pro sports arena." The headline read "Report: Sacramento Kings may move to Virginia Beach, sources say."
Rob McAllister, a reporter for Sacramento radio station KBFK, tweeted that "NBA says no application has been filed and the League has not been made aware of any talks involving Kings & Virginia Beach," while Bee Kings reporter Jason Jones tweeted simply: "FWIW source says Kings are not moving to Virginia." Meanwhile, Kings fan blog Sactown Royalty posted a seven-point takedown of Philip Newswanger and Bill Cresenzo Inside Business story, mostly pointing out that Virginia Beach is a smaller media market than Sacramento or Anaheim, where the Kings had previously been rumored to move, and at least Anaheim already has a stadium built.
The the news from Inside Business is pretty straightforward, and will either be borne out or not in less than a week: "City officials and the Maloof family [which owns the Kings] are expected to announce Wednesday, Aug. 29, that the Kings will land in Virginia Beach, sources said." That gives five days for further rumormongering.
Update (3:19 p.m. EDT): Kings co-owner Joe Maloof tells the local CBS affiliate, "We haven’t talked to Virginia Beach." So that's a pretty big hole in the Inside Business report. (h/t Sactown Royalty)