Through this entire ordeal, two of the three Maloof brothers have been silent. George Maloof has taken it upon himself, either self-imposed or on behalf of Joe and Gavin to be the word of the family – a decision that they’re more than likely regretting, but I regress.
The Bee’s Ailene Voisin finally caught up with a non-George Maloof recently when she pressed Joe on a few hard hitting questions. Joe was very candid in the interview – and although many may find difficulty in believing his words, the somewhat frazzled answers did seemingly shed some light on a few things. I however, couldn’t get past this one question (and credit goes to Ailene for not soft-balling Joe):
But can you understand that people feel jerked around again emotionally? After the handshake agreement was reached in Orlando, there was celebrating, and even tears. Gavin cried during the news conference. That image doesn’t go away. Then you come back and join the mayor in the festivities at midcourt … and then the deal is dead?
Yeah, yeah. We’re emotional people. We wanted it to happen. It’s not fun hearing what a lot of people are saying. But we’re not disingenuous. At the game … what happened was that the mayor came running over, grabs my arms, puts them in the air. We made a mistake putting our hands up because we knew, we knew we had concerns. We just didn’t want to embarrass him in front of all the fans.
Now see, if that’s how it happened – then I’d understand. But it didn’t. You, Joe, along with your brother marched proudly to center-court to announce your intentions of staying in Sacramento. Matter of fact, here’s what was exactly said, by Gavin as you stood right alongside:
I want to thank Mayor Johnson, the NBA, Commissioner Stern, AEG, all of you fine folks and our wonderful customers. There is going to be a beacon of light shining bright in 2015 – a brand new arena *pause* Thank you for all you do – thank you for the love that you’ve shown our family. We still love you – we’ve always loved you and we always will love you.
Need a reminder, Joe?
You entered and left the court to the Foo Fighters “My Hero”. So, no – I don’t think your “mistake” was “just putting your hands up”. In fact, I’d say if that was the lone thing you’d have done you’d be sitting pretty right now. But instead, you made your way to mid-court and Gavin not only announced, but essentially promoted the said deal and the new arena complex.
I get the passion. Completely understandable. And I get sometimes mistakes are made in the heat of the moment, but this is the problem that so many King fans have right now – the stretched truth. The inability to find fault in yourselves.
You continue to deflect blame from the family. You continue to allow the family to blame others, much like George blasting Kevin Johnson. You blast the city. You blast the agreement. You blast essentially everything when it was your family who decided to opt against the deal. Okay – that’s fine – completely within your right, but you don’t need to put down all that have helped your family so much in this situation.
You say you feel like a criminal – but you have to understand, your family put that target on their back with their actions. Had you come out and expressed concern over the deal, saying there were a few things causing issues but we’ll get this done as fast as possible – little fault would have been made. But that’s not what your family did – instead, they pissed and moaned and had a beyond embarrassing press conference degrading the work done by the city, the community, the fans.
There is a world outside of the Maloof family – maybe one day you’ll realize that.
I just hope it’s in Sacramento.