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Maloofs send ex-FBI agent to snoop on local Sacramento businesses

May 14, 2012, 10:21 AM EDT

worried george

During last year’s playoffs, the Maloof family sent an attorney to an Orange County Register reporter’s home to collect evidence. The evidence in question was audio of Phil Jackson comparing the embattled family to unpopular former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

While the Maloofs may have wanted observers to believe they were merely protecting their image, or even trying to keep the Lakers’ mouthpiece from framing a potential move to Anaheim in a negative way — the reality is that evidence of possible complicity between Phil Jackson, the Lakers, and the NBA against the Maloofs was being collected for a potential antitrust lawsuit against the league.

An antitrust lawsuit (or the threat of one) would be used by the family if they wanted to move the team without the league’s consent.

The decision to send this attorney was widely derided as a bully tactic, though if we take the Maloofs at face value they were told by the NBA that the audio evidence of Jackson’s comments was not available as it normally would be (as pre-game pressers during the playoffs are usually recorded).

Apparently, the Maloofs’ only recourse would be to schedule an appointment with the reporter and ask for the tape. The reporter met with the attorney but declined to give up the tape.

Of course, nothing says ‘we love Sacramento’ and ‘get off my lawn’ like sending an attorney to a reporter’s house to recover antitrust evidence.

One year later with nothing but scorched earth behind them, the Maloofs are at it again – dispatching a former FBI agent to collect information from the 25 local business leaders that asked David Stern to consider changing team ownership.

According to the local CBS affiliate in Sacramento, the FBI agent turned private eye has been contacting those leaders trying to find evidence that one of them forged a signature on the letter they sent to Stern, which was largely ceremonial in nature.

“We got a call from somebody claiming to be a private investigator and trying to get in touch with myself to see if we signed a letter to the NBA commissioner; because they believe our names were forged,” said Stranley Lukowicz.

When asked if his name was forged, Lukowicz said, “No they were not.”

CBS13 asked George Maloof about the ex-FBI agent inquiry by phone and text, and received a statement from his spokesperson.

“It is the Kings’ and Maloof policy not to discuss internal business,” the statement read.

Barring something extremely unforeseen, it’s hard to see the relevance of a theoretically forged signature if the family’s goal is to stay in Sacramento (it’s not).

But if you want to make things uncomfortable for those that might be angling against you, or if you’re collecting more evidence for a future antitrust lawsuit – by all means — go hire a PI and disenfranchise your entire sponsor base.

  1. cakemixa - May 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Are these guys the worst owners in sports history?

  2. smcgaels1997 - May 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Absolute morons yet again

  3. dolphinatic - May 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    As long as they don’t come to LA/Ana. We don’t need 3 teams in LA. These guys are proof income doesn’t equate to IQ points. I’ve said it before and here it comes again, KEEP your trash off our Laker lawn. The queens haven’t been relevant since C web and probably need to be moved out of that cesspool of a city. Just not too the Lakers cesspool. Trust me I drive through (ball)sac every time I go off the hill (from South Lake Tahoe) and I grew up near Inglewood (err inglewatts).Go KINGS!….LA KINGS that is.

  4. smcgaels1997 - May 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Those fans don’t deserve them leaving, let alone having their city called a cesspool….what would you know, you only stay for half the games anyways just like Dodger fans

    • cosanostra71 - May 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      cesspool is a bit strong… but have you been to Sacramento recently?

  5. AlohaMrHand - May 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    The Maloofs have money to pay for a mole but can’t pay for redevelopment fees?These guys are worms and have no business flipping burgers let alone owning a team.

  6. phillyphan83 - May 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    these idiots remind me of Donald trump buying a usfl team to try to get into the NFL. he wasn’t allowed to buy an NFL team so he buys the NJ generals and then tries to move them(along with the rest of the usfl) to the NFL, to no avail. The Maloofs have made it known publicly(Adrienne said it on that stupid housewives show) that their ultimate desire is to move the team to LA(they live there and fly their private jet to sac for home games). All they care about is themselves and their image. LA is filled with the most pretentious, egotistical, self-centered scumbags that are not even close to being in touch with reality. The Maloofs are the epitome of that. If you cant own the Lakers or the Clips, just buy another team and move them to LA too, its good for the NBA right? Effin idiot scumbags.

  7. rollteal - May 14, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Stern Needs to strip them of ownership !!
    They are completely pathetic Los Angeles doesn’t need a quarter dozen NBA teams

  8. chiadam - May 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    They then asked the city of Sacramento to pay the attorney for them. Seriously, these three muppets took a profitable family empire (which they had no hand in building) and burned it to the ground in under ten years. Good work.

  9. mogogo1 - May 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    “Consider” changing team ownership?! That needs to be the league’s #1 priority. The Maloofs are dead broke–the ex-FBI guy’s check will probably bounce. Give them two seasons in whatever new city they choose and seats will be empty because they won’t be able to afford to put a decent team on the court.

  10. rayburns - May 14, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    The owners have finally realized that they pay Stern’s salary and are no longer allowing him to bully them. The owners would rather continue to sleep with the Maloofs and ignore the slime oozing from every pore on their bodies than to give any more power and control to Stern.

  11. dans761 - May 14, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Just send this team to Seattle if Sacramento can’t get an arena. I can’t believe the NBA would even consider sending another team to LA when Seattle is about to get an arena, they were ROBBED of a team and Seattle is a great NBA market! The only right that can make up a little for the wrongs Sacramento and Seattle have been put through is sending a team to Seattle. Seattle has a willing owner who won’t run the team into the ground like the Maloofs. HOW MANY MORE CHANCES WILL SACRAMENTO GET? Why didn’t David Stern give Seattle half the chances he’s giving Sacramento? Dammit just sell this team to Chris Hansen and send them to Seattle. That would be the right thing!

  12. dspohn55 - May 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    dans761, you are so ignorant it is embarrassing..get informed! The city of Sacramento has done it’s part, multiple times. The arena was a done deal, agreed upon and had all finances agreed to and in place. And then the Maloofs (who by the way, are BROKE) backed out.

    Real NBA fans, owners, and analysts know Sacramento isn’t the problem. The Maloofs are.

    Don’t take Seattle’s frustrations out on us, we all feel bad for Seattle.

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