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With it time to write checks, Maloofs balk at Sacramento arena plan

Mar 30, 2012, 10:53 AM EST

sacramento arena

As has followed the long-standing pattern with the Maloof family — or at least half of the Maloof family — when it comes time to talk money on a Sacramento Arena deal to keep the Kings in that city, the family wants to get and not give.

But this time it may not matter because it is the city and the league that will have the final say on the Maloof’s plan.

The latest flare up in the plans to build a new arena for the Kings in Sacramento came to light on Thursday when it was reported by the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee that the Maloof family would not pay its share of the predevelopment costs that have come due.

David Stern and the league have had to step in and help a little, reports the Sacramento Bee.

The NBA today came to the rescue of Sacramento’s arena deal, agreeing to advance about $200,000 in pre-development costs after the Kings’ owners balked at paying the money….

NBA Commissioner David Stern, in a statement to The Bee, said those pre-development expenses must be paid quickly. “Those discussions have stalled, but I have advised Mayor Johnson that the NBA will advance pre-development expenses on behalf of the Kings pending our report to the NBA Board of Governors at its meeting on April 12-13.”

A Maloof family spokesman in Los Angeles told the Bee today the team does not feel that it should share in predevelopment costs because the team is only a tenant in the building, which would be owned by the city.

This from a family that is ultimately expected to kick in $73 million for the arena deal in the agreement that was celebrated just a few weeks back. The Maloofs have a new crisis PR person helping them out, which has to make Kings fans uneasy. The Los Angeles Times says this puts Anaheim back in play.

This is the Sacramento soap opera — or more accurately cheesy reality show — that has been the arena drama (in various forms) for a decade. It is a mistake to think of the Maloof family as a unified front — they have been internally divided on the Sacramento arena plans, a move to Anaheim and probably over whether Reese’s are chocolate with peanut butter or peanut butter with chocolate. Reportedly on one side are Joe and Gavin, on the other it is George Jr. and Adrienne. It was pro-move George who was doing the speaking Thursday.

But right now, the Maloofs do not have all the power. They are not in control.

The league pushed aside the Maloofs and negotiated directly with the city to get the arena agreement that was reached in place (the Maloofs were part of that discussion but not at the heart of it). The league then stepped in and basically fronted the predevelopment costs for the family.

This is all going to land in the laps of the NBA Board of Governors next month. That group made up of the other NBA owners, who voted last year to force the Maloofs to give Sacramento another year to come up with an arena plan. That group is going to hear from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, from the league and from the Maloofs. It is that same board that would have to approve moving the team.

If the league and the city can make the deal works for the other owners, it will get approved and move forward. As they were during negotiations, the Maloofs will not be the side with all the power.

So while the latest move by the Maloof family to save a few bucks and assert some control is a bump in the road, it does not kill the project. The Maloofs do not have that power anymore. If the league and city can make the deal that the other owners approve, the deal will get done.

  1. AlohaMrHand - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I knew the Mallots were not done looking for that road to Anaheim.They are shady and can’t be trusted.Stern should “persuade” them to sell the team.

  2. glink123 - Mar 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I think it’s time for Stern to force the Maloofs out, similar to what MLB did to McCourt and the Dodgers.

    • icantball - Mar 30, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      Time to get Cuban on the bat phone commissioner Stern

  3. atom665 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    The Maloofs should just sell the team. They’re not shady they just want something more attractive than Sacramento. Building a multimillion dollar arena there is like putting diamonds on a turd. Sell and wait for expansion. New team new city.

  4. omniusprime - Mar 31, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Stinking rich jerks like the Maloofs have a false sense of entitlement, they just never want to pay their fair share of things, want someone to bail them out all the time. As a tenant they are going to receive financial benefits from a new downtown stadium so they should ante up some predevelopment costs as they agreed to do. Just proves that rich jerks should be paying more in taxes!

  5. losangelasbasketball - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Praying for the Kings to move to Anaheim… driving up to the staples center is a 2 hour suckfest…

  6. rollteal - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Los Angeles Metro area does not need 3 NBA team where cities like Seattle, San Diego, and San Jose, Nashville, Tampa Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cincinnati , Jacksonville, and St Louis are all without NBA franchises.

  7. caliscooter - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Guy called me yesterday about buying Kings season tickets… I told him to tell his boss to put some shovels in the ground and we can talk. Sacramento wants… and has… supported the Kings, but when the owners create such an aura of uncertainty it is easy for the fan base to become jittery. The Maloofs need to be ‘McCourted’ from the NBA and an owner with a burning desire to win and ultimately support the team needs to step in.

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