Keys to the Kingdom…

Every story needs an ending. This is a problem when your story is the definitive book on the Sacramento Kings.

Since starting work full-time on the Kings book project in January, I’ve had serious pleasure digging into archives and uncovering forgotten truths about America’s most vagrant sports team.

From the Great Depression in Rochester, through the mobbed-up years in Cincinnati and Kansas City and the joyful time when the NBA was something new in Sacramento, the research and writing have been challenging, frustrating, therapeutic and fun.

The book’s ending is another story.

As Chris Hansen so vividly demonstrated this summer with his secretive and illegal attempt to disrupt Sacramento’s arena process, the Kings’ story is fluid and ever-changing. But every book needs an ending. So what’s the solution?

I needed a natural break, the spot where the story could reasonably pull to the side of the road and stop.

The perfect moment, I decided, was that night in Oakland when NBA Commissioner David Stern and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson met and compared notes about the momentous events that day — the agreement by the Maloof family to sell the Kings to Vivek Ranadive and partners.

So I closed the book with words from that night in Oakland. And I found a magically relevant quote from the writings of Dr. James Naismith to capture the moment. Where would we be without Dr. Naismith, the man who invented basketball?

I was pleased with the ending, but the news rolled on.

Hansen shipped $100,000 to political operatives in hopes of killing Sacramento’s arena. He was exposed by Josh Wood and his advocacy group, Region Builders.

Those revelations deserved coverage in the book.  They got it.

In the next few weeks, I will be uploading my book to the Web for everybody to see and read. A hard-copy print edition will be available as soon as possible — I hope to have exciting news about that part of the project in the next few weeks.

Of course, the Kings story is not finished. The arena process will require a few more chapters. If not a whole new book.

And who knows, maybe there will be a new story about the Kings’ amazing march to an NBA championship.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The e-book comes out in mid-September 2013. Stay tuned for updates.