Kings owners apologize with two newspaper ads
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Sacramento Kings bought full-page ads in two newspapers to apologize for showing derogatory images of Detroit on video screens prior to their home opener against the Pistons.
When the Pistons were introduced Tuesday night, the Arco Arena scoreboard flashed pictures of abandoned buildings, burned-out cars, piles of rubble and other negative images of Detroit. The Pistons won the game 102-88.
The Kings apologized that night and owners Joe and Gavin Maloof bought a full-page ad that ran in Thursday editions of The Detroit News, expressing "great respect for Detroit's long and rich tradition as a landmark American city and the incredibly positive impact the Motor City has made over the course of our country's history."
The ad will also run in Friday editions of the Detroit Free Press.
"We all feel terrible that we made just a big mistake, and we want to communicate that," Kings spokeswoman Sonja Brown told the News.
Pistons coach Flip Saunders said he and his assistants were initially angered by the display, but settled down after hearing from the Kings.
"Their organization has always been very first-class. Opening night, sometimes they get really excited," Saunders told the Free Press. "Some of their people, they just really weren't quite thinking all the way."
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league is reviewing the incident.
NBA policy prohibits "ridiculing of opponents or game officials ... via PA announcements, video, or matrix displays, music or mascot skits."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press