Yesterday it was announced that long time President of the Sacramento Kings, John Thomas, was being bought out by the Maloofs, ending his near 11 year stint with the Kings organization. Thomas was brought over from the Rockets when the Maloofs purchased the Kings and is responsible for some of the most premier moves the Kings have made (business decision wise), such as securing a 10 year television deal with Comcast. However, rumors have it that the Maloofs became unhappy with some of Thomas’ recent decisions (one example would be his desire to keep ticket prices where they were at, a move the Maloofs overruled)…and felt it was time to move on. They offered Thomas another role in the organization, but Thomas decided to opt for a buyout rather than a demotion.
With Thomas out, Kings legal consultant Matina Kolokotronis was promoted to President of Business Operations and Assistant General Manager Jason Levien assumes additional duties as the club’s general counsel and Senior Vice-President. In addition, John Rinehart is promoted to Senior Vice-President of the business department, while outside consultant Kevin Kaplan is expected to become even more involved with ticket sales and marketing.
Joe Maloof is now Chief Executive Officer and brother Gavin Maloof the President of Maloof Sports & Entertainment – a move that will put the Maloofs even more hands on in day to day business activities (a move the Kings need, IMO).
One of the few things that the franchise has had over the years that many other franchises don’t is fan participation. The Kings organization and the fans of Sacramento have a very unique relationship, one that you don’t find in most cities. For some time, it appeared the Kings moved away from the “hometown” feel they once had – a vibe that made them so successful. It appears we’re moving towards that success again, in more ways than one.