The Maloofs, right or wrongly get a lot of grief for their uninspired commitment to the city of Sacramento and the greater region, but Sacramento Bee writer Marcos Breton landed a hefty left cross to their chins this past weekend with his latest piece.
Breton held back no punches in his article, saying what so many have tried to say (including myself) and really exposed the situation for what it is.
The key question is: Will Maloof Sports and Entertainment ever again have the financial resources to field a competitive team?
The Maloofs may be personally wealthy. They may have shed substantial debt when ceding majority control of the Palms Casino in Las Vegas to their lenders.
But it’s one thing to be rich, and quite another to be NBA-owner rich.
The simple economics of the Kings’ future seem to point toward a sale of the team no matter where it goes.
If the Kings attempted a move to Anaheim, as was threatened last year, it’s hard to imagine how the Maloofs could afford the massive relocation fee imposed by the NBA.
Meanwhile, the numbers seem to work against the Maloofs in Sacramento’s arena deal.
In a strange way – I feel for the Maloofs. For a time period, they, as much as the product on the floor, held a special place in our purple and black bleeding hearts. They were the ultimate fan’s owner – no different from you, other than the oodles of cash falling out of their pockets every time they jumped up and down courtside with enjoyment.
They brought Sacramento glory. They brought Sacramento bright lights. Celebrities on TV wearing Kings paraphernalia. Sacramento King promotions lined the strip of Las Vegas, brighter and bigger than that of Vegas icons. But now? They’re the frowned upon cheating spouse. Sure, they (or Gavin) sit courtside – they mingle with the fans, they celebrate on the few occasions they can – but it’s not the same. Sadly, for them and for us, it never will be.
The most telling point of Breton’s piece isn’t some “got’cha” attack nor is it some unearthed financial number, it’s a simple, straight to the point sentence that says everything that needs to be said:
That’s unacceptable given how Sacramento has stepped up for the Kings and the NBA. Sacramento deserves better.
That’s it – period. Bias aside, I have never seen a fan base do what King fans did this past Summer. That’s no slight to Sonic fans (or any other fan base over time) who’ve made valiant efforts in hopes of keeping their respective franchises, but King fans (in greater numbers) took it further than I’ve ever seen (and continue to do so). They, we, the city – all deserve better than what we’ve been given.
I fully understand it’s a business for the Maloofs, exploring other opportunities is a must – and in no way am I saying that they haven’t put forth an effort at times, but if they had put an ounce of what King fans put in to keep this franchise in Sacramento, this book would be much different.
That book hasn’t concluded though – I just wish they’d see that before the final page is turned.