Kings apologize for mocking Detroit

The Sacramento Kings have bought full-page ads in two Detroit newspapers to apologize for showing negative images of that city on video screens prior to their home opener.

When the Pistons were introduced Tuesday night at the Arco Arena, the scoreboard displayed pictures of abandoned buildings, burned-out cars, and garbage-strewn streets in the Motor City.

The Pistons went on to win the game 102-88.

Owners Joe and Gavin Maloof personally called several members of the Pistons' brass immediately after the game, and have now bought a full-page ad that ran in Thursday editions of the Detroit News.

The print apology expresses "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 is also scheduled to run in Friday editions of the Detroit Free Press.

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."

The Kings are conducting an internal investigation into how the presentation came to light. The NBA is also looking into the matter and could possibly fine the Kings organization for violating the league's pre-game code of conduct.

with files from Associated Press