Sad Day in Sacramento

The cowbells could stop ringing soon up in Sacramento.

Less than two months ago, news came out that the Kings, along with the NBA and the city of Sacramento, had supposedly agreed to a deal to finance a new arena. What’s depending on this deal? It’s believed to be the only way the Kings will remain in Sacramento. Today, however, news broke that suggests the deal is all but dead, following the Board of Governors meeting and ensuing press conference, and a ridiculous press conference by the Maloofs.

Sacramento has had its loyal fans, and understandably, the same town that was in a state of joy few weeks ago is now in utter disbelief. The NBA team’s owners have rejected that city’s plan for financing a new arena.

“It’s not going to happen, but I can say the city has stepped up,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said, according to the Bee. “We have nothing further to give, to cajole, to yell, or all the various ways I’ve tried to keep the parties on track to get what we thought was a win-win in Sacramento.”

The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, met with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Stern this week in NY to try to broker a new deal for an arena. At that point, the city and the Maloofs agreed on a financing plan for which both parties would chip in.

All of a sudden, though,  the Maloofs decide they want to re-examine the agreement; Kevin Johnson wasn’t willing to negotiate. The involved parties were “not able to make a deal,” Stern stated, and now there is “nothing further to be done.”

The Maloofs’ decision making and business acumen has often been criticized in recent years. The Maloofs have blown their beer distributorship in New Mexico, most of their stake in the Palms Casino, and the only recording artist on the Maloof Music label is Ali Lohan.

In this situation, however, it’s even worse than that- there’s a air of dishonesty. When the mutual agreement was reached, Gavin Maloof was seen crying, elated at the “joy” he felt that this deal was finally completed. Fast-forward to today, George Maloof mentioned that there was never an actual deal that was agreed upon, but just the framework.

Stern took issue with the timing by the Maloofs:

“We had an agreement in principle. … It was always subject to any party saying they didn’t want to do it. It was always non-binding,” Stern said. “I think it’s fair for the Maloofs to say they don’t want to do it. If they’d done that … earlier, a little more directly, they could’ve saved a lot of angst and trouble. We’ve asked the city of Sacramento to step up and that city responded in an extraordinary way.”

Even though the Kings are long gone from their golden era, they still have an extremely loyal fan base. With the Kings being the only professional team in town, their fans do their part to show support for the team. Mayor Kevin Johnson has done an commednable job to keep the Kings in town, but the reality of the situation is if a new arena isn’t built there, the Maloofs will probably move the team. Is this fair? No. But, business is business, and the Maloofs will do what they please with their team.

With all this said, it seems the best option moving forward would be to sell the team. No one can trust the Maloofs right now, and after years of such irresponsibility, something has got to be done. For the team, for the fans, for the NBA, please Maloof family, rid the team of your tomfoolery.

P.S. – Seattle anyone? … Chris Hansen, the San Francisco investor who wants to bring the NBA and NHL to his hometown of Seattle, may now have renewed interest in the Kings

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