So yesterday afternoon in Dallas, the pow-wow between all involved in the potential new arena process took part. Members of Sacramento’s city council were present as were NBA representatives that included OKC Thunder owner Clay Bennett in addition to many other recognizable names – but no Maloof’s. We knew that going in – the NBA didn’t want them there. A bit of an oddity, but Aaron Bruski from Pro Basketball Talk breaks it down like this:
The Maloofs have made just a handful of public comments regarding the process since it was decided that they would stay, and nothing that would make the 10 o’clock news.
For a family that doesn’t exactly lay low, it’s almost like they’re not there, complicit with the idea that their presence could somehow derail things in Sacramento.
It’s a pretty simple decision to hide the Maloofs, given their past history with arena initiatives, the threat of moving, and the like, but as Abrams alluded to there is more at play here.
As much as you would like to hide the Maloofs if you’re Sacramento and the NBA, any owner would be expected to be involved in a process like this, and their representatives would certainly be at meetings of this type. In this case, Bennett is there instead to keep things on track.
With the Maloof’s essentially un-invited to an extremely important meeting regarding their franchise’s future, it seems to me (and has seemed that way ever since the Anaheim deal left egg all over the NBA’s face) that David Stern and company has had enough of the Maloof’s and their continuous PR disasters (talk about ironic). While the Maloof’s made no secret that they’d have pulled their best Art Modell if the opportunity arose, the NBA is loudly making it no secret that the Maloof’s aren’t in control of this merry-go-round. Just as the Maloof’s feel/felt that Sacramento could easily be replaced as the franchise’s homebase, the NBA has plenty of suitors in-line to replace the Maloof’s. And if the Maloof’s aren’t careful………….