Sure you do, you read it here and you're a loyal reader and enjoy when I get rambling about things that aggravate me.
Apparently the New York Post's Larry Brooks is big enough and important enough (read: writes for a New York City paper) to get a direct explanation from Leiweke himself about what it is that they're up to.
Consider me distrustful of those in great power with great wealth:
"Our interest was in the facility, not in the team," Leiweke said. "The
loan did not come from AEG Sports, but through AEG Facilities.
"We analyzed the situation and concluded that the Predators would be locked
into Nashville for a long time. Our interest had nothing to do with Kansas City,
but rather in getting the long-term management rights to [Sommet Center]."
Basically, all of this speculation and questioning of the situation surrounds Boots Del Biaggio being a lying scumbag who managed to pull one over on everyone involved in the situation. Leiweke, Anschutz, and Craig Leipold were all suckered in by this trickster. Gary Bettman, at least according to Leiweke, carries no blame.
"I'd been assured by Boots that [the loan] had been fully vetted with Gary,
but believing that is just one of the mistakes I made that I regret," Leiweke
said. "I should have disclosed the information myself.
"The loan was through AEG Facilities and not the corporate ownership of the
Los Angeles Kings. We had nothing to hide. The commissioner not knowing about it
makes it looks worse than it is, but we have nobody to blame for that but
OK so Gary is blameless and knew nothing about the financial dealings of his friends (possible) and in the financial dealings that affect the teams in the league that he runs (highly doubtful).
Pardon me if I feel the slightest bit skeptical about this.
Also pardon me if I feel really skeptical about what Leiweke is dealing out about how there's no plans and that there's nothing actually going on and that AEG's involvement is strictly with the building and not with the team that inhabits it.
Obviously with such entangling alliances between businesses this can make everything look very convoluted (which, it is) and it allows for this kind of admittedly asinine speculation - but sometimes, real life likes to interject a little fun into things to feed the fire.
Case in point, the NHL preseason schedule offers this fodder for further Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory" type of overreacting:
Monday September 22nd
Los Angeles (split squad) vs. St. Louis, at Kansas City, Mo.
(Sprint Center), 8 p.m.
You know, I get it that it's likely AEG doing their part to throw a bone to one of their other arenas, especially one that they're trying to fill up with a team or two since, you know, that helps these arenas and their owners make a lot of money. Generally what happens (although not so much) is they send the big team to play a game in preseason at the home of their minor league affiliate.
Sure, that would seem like a hiccup and AEG is just looking to audition, right?
Not so fast! More rampant speculation ahead!
Saturday September 27th
Colorado vs. Los Angeles, at Las Vegas, Nev. (MGM
Grand), 10 p.m.
So now the Kings are playing two games away from Los Angeles and they just happen to be playing one of them in an AEG owned arena in Kansas City, a city and arena desperate to add an NHL or NBA team and they're playing a game in Las Vegas, a city that many have been pushing to add an NHL team and to break the stigma of having professional sports in the gambling capital of the United States.
I just wonder if we'll spot a picture of Phillip Anschutz cozying up to Jerry Bruckheimer at the game in Vegas. Why? Oh, I don't know... seems like they could be good friends too.
A group led by Bruckheimer, an avid hockey fan, is the front-runner for the Las
Vegas expansion and has been in talks with NHL officials for months, sources
said. Additionally, Bruckheimer has had discussions with AEG officials about
that group potentially building and/or operating an NHL arena in Las Vegas. AEG
President & CEO Tim Leiweke would not comment on that, but said in a
statement, "Jerry is like a brother. I will be there to support him anywhere he
wants to go." Bruckheimer is said to be the leader of a group of entertainment
execs, including MGM Studios Chair & CEO Harry Evans Sloan, who want to own
the Las Vegas team.
I can't imagine where I'd get such crazy conspiracy ideas from that maybe, just maybe, Phil Anschutz and AEG don't have the best of intentions for the L.A. Kings and that they're scouting out other locations to see what works best.
I must be crazy!