When the Maloofs announced they were selling the Kings to Seattle, I said from the start that this was something personal against Sacramento. They felt somehow they were wronged by the city leaders and residents here because they didn’t get a new arena for free. Kevin Johnson wanted to put together a group to buy the Kings after the failed attempt to move to Anaheim and build a new arena, but the Maloofs said the team was not for sale. Then early this year they announced they were selling the team to Seattle. They made no attempt to sell the team to keep it here. Why is that? I think it was out of spite. They don’t want the team to have a new arena and possibly be successful here in Sacramento without them. They would rather the city have no team than a team without them. The Maloofs have been non entities here the past few years. When times were good they were on the sidelines jumping up and down, high fiving everyone. When times went bad they disappeared. They did nothing to improve the team. They hired lousy coaches, made bad trades and overpaid for mediocre players. 10 years ago the Kings were a team players wanted to play for. Now they can only get role players and bad coaches. The economy played a huge role in the lack of fan attendance, but a winning team would still be drawing near sell out crowds. The team has been awful the past 5-6 years. No heart, no teamwork, no talent and no owners.
Now the mayor has put together a group that will buy the team, keep it here, promote the team internationally and has the money to improve the team and build a state of the art arena, but the Maloofs are still insisting on selling the team to Seattle owners. If the money is the same, why do they care? Do they want to be known as the owners who ran the team out of town? They are obviously petty individuals. They don’t want to see a team stay here, get a new arena and maybe even be successful. If the team moves to Seattle, the Kings name is dead. In a few years no one will care that the team was here. How many people associate the Oklahoma City Thunder with Seattle? Of course die hard knowledgeable sports fans do, but as time goes by the Kings will be forgotten by most people just as the Sonics name has.
No one knows what would have happened if the Maloofs announced they wanted to sell the team. Would Sacramento have put together this same dynamic type of partnership to buy the team and build arena? Maybe, maybe not. The pressure and deadline of trying to find new owners made everyone react more forcefully. Maybe the Maloofs feel they were burned over and over by the city and didn’t want to do it again. It just seems a lot of this is personal and spiteful. They know how much the fans love this team. That’s been obvious by the reaction these past few months.
Let’s hope the NBA owners will see how important it is to the community to keep the Kings here and that the team can be successful, in a new arena, and the Maloofs will forever have to see the Sacramento Kings name. I can’t see the NBA letting the team leave given everything that has transpired over the past couple of months. The mayor and the area have stepped up big time. The fans have shown their support with the Here We Stay and Here We Buy campaigns.
The NBA relocation committee voted unanimously against the Kings moving to Seattle. What does this all mean? It should mean the Kings are staying in Sacramento, but will it be that easy? Will the Seattle group give up or fight on? It’s not likely they will win a fight with a group they need permission to join, but Chris Hanson released a statement tonight saying they are not giving up. Will it ruin any chance they have of getting an expansion team? The NBA owners hold final approval over any deal. I don’t blame them for being upset. They made an offer for the team, and the Kings owners accepted it. But the NBA is an exclusive club and they reserve the right to approve any sales and also prevent teams from moving. Most cities would have given up, but Sacramento didn’t. Seattle deserves a team, but not this one.
What will the Maloofs do? I still firmly believe that they are petty, vindictive people who really don’t want the team to stay here. I don’t think they will just quietly hand over the team, take their money and walk away. I think they want to burn some bridges and leave a scorched earth. I don’t trust them. If they can find a way to screw this up they will. They have tried for the past few months to move this team and prevent it from staying here, even going to the point of lobbying the other owners to approve this (that sure didn’t work) and trying to undermine the efforts to keep the team here by criticizing the offer from the new owners. They don’t like Kevin Johnson and it was their hope to move this team and give the fans here the finger. I don’t know what else they can do besides walk away. Doing anything other than that will show what kind of people they are. They are essentially a reality show. “How to blow your family’s wealth.” That’s what they will be known for. It’s obvious the other owners and the commissioner are tired of their act and the vote today confirms that. Let’s hope in a 2 weeks when all the owners vote on this that they send them packing and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
The NBA owners voted to deny the move to Seattle, 22-8. There was no vote on the sale of the Kings to the Sacramento group. During his press conference, NBA Commissioner David Stern measured his words very carefully when talking about the Maloofs, saying they aren’t forced to sell the team, but he expects an agreement in 24-48 hours. Afterwards local reporters spoke to George Maloof who said the family was disappointed because they wanted to sell the team to the Seattle group. They would stand to get an additional $100 million so I don’t blame them in that regard. When asked if their backs are against the wall or if they feel pressured to sell, Maloof said no they don’t feel pressured. When asked if they could still keep the team he said that is one of the options. He also said they tried to sell to a Sacramento group but no one came forward. That is contrary to what everyone else has said. They repeatedly said the team was not for sale. So now here we are again with the Maloofs in control not sure what they should do and Sacramento Kings fans still can’t fully celebrate. It’s something the city and the fans have been through over and over and will continue to go through until the Maloofs are gone. Will they finally give up and sell or will they continue to push this spiteful chapter to another level? They are not to be trusted. Until they are removed from the team there can be no true celebration.
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