Who’d have thought that even recently as a month ago – it would the Maloofs in position to “save” the Sacramento Kings? How quickly things can change.
If you haven’t heard, the Seattle City Council reached an agreement on a $490 million arena plan, giving local Seattle tycoon Chris Hansen the ability to go shopping for some type of professional sports franchise – hopefully NBA, in his mind. With the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets recently being purchased, that leaves few NBA franchises potentially available outside of the Sacramento Kings, but as we’ve heard so many times – the Maloofs aren’t selling.
Or are they?
February 28, 2011; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings owners George Maloof (left), Gavin Maloof (center), and Joe Maloof (right) watch from the sidelines during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at ARCO Arena. The Kings defeated the Clippers 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Gavin and Joe have said multiple times that the worst decision they ever made was selling their ownership in the Houston Rockets, which their Father owned before them. They’ve turned down multiple offers for the team, including a $400 million dollar offer from the aforementioned Hansen, and continue to say they wont ever let their leash go. Then again – their word isn’t exactly the gold standard.
There’s no doubt that there’s a thorn in the trio of brothers who have the most impact on the Kings. Gavin loves Sacramento and loved the arena deal that fell through. He certainly wears his emotions on his sleeve – maybe sometimes to a fault, but I have the most confidence in believing he wants to do everything he can to keep the Kings in Sacramento for the long term. Joe – much like Gavin, feels similar – though at times he appears a bit indifferent and wants to make sure all avenues are explored, which is understandable and only doing your due diligence as an owner. George, unfortunately, has proven time and time again to be the catalyst behind many poor decisions – not only directly involved with the Kings, but with other business ventures such as the Palms and general life situations. It wasn’t Joe or Gavin being picked up for a DUI…
Sadly, at least so far throughout this process, it appears that the least visible of the trio has the loudest voice when it has come to vital matters. And even worse, it appears that the decision maker – or at least most influential – is the lone brother who doesn’t seem to have the best interest of the Kings franchise and Sacramento fan base in heart.
That’s not to say that Joe and Gavin are lacking any blame in this matter – not in the least bit. They’ve allowed themselves to be walked all over by their brother, but now saving the Kings is up to them, in the most odd of ways. The family who had held tight in their decision to continually reject offers to sell must do so again, with so much more on the line. Most of the previous potential buyers wanted to keep the franchise in Sacramento – Hansen has one motive – moving the team north to Seattle.
The pressure will be on the Maloofs to sell – something they’ve refused to do.
Ironically, it’s now up the Maloofs – namely Joe and Gavin, to save the Kings from Chris Hansen – from their brother, George Maloof – at least for now, in this scenario.
How the tables turn.