Jan 9, 2013, 9:10 AM EST
We never took the Maloofs or Virginia Beach seriously in their talks to move the Sacramento Kings to the eastern seaboard, and predictably the talks officially fell apart when Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms declared the deal dead for now on Tuesday.
There were a million reasons that deal was a farce – a sad ploy to manufacture leverage in George Maloof and his family’s ongoing attempt at getting something for nothing in an arena deal.
Still though, this marks the end for yet another painful chapter for Kings fans, who have endured as much uncertainty and shenanigans as any fan base on this side of Seattle. And as we learned late Tuesday night, the next chapter has already begun.
Super agent David Falk’s daughter Daina tweeted yesterday that Seattle billionaire Chris Hansen has already come to an agreement with the Maloofs to buy the Kings, calling it a “done deal.” Since those rumors hit the Twittersphere, she backed off a bit on her Facebook page and deleted her tweets at about 9 a.m. ET today (original here). Seattle writer Chris Daniels wasn’t in a hurry to address the “rumors” last night, adding that “it isn’t over until it’s over” and that’s a point of agreement here.
First off, the idea that a deal is closed is premature since the Board of Governors would have to approve it and that clearly hasn’t happened, let alone with a relocation request attached. Of course, a deal could be being negotiated in the background between the Maloofs and Hansen with or without the NBA’s participation, and she may be referring to some step in that process, but until she comments further or the next shoe drops this is mere speculation from a potential, albeit unlikely information source.
Either way, we’ll learn a lot in the next 24 hours as the various parties each respond to requests for comment at the start of business today.
As for the Maloofs, Tuesday’s Virginia Beach developments put them back at square one and they are running out of time and money to make their final move. They will either need to come up with a lot more money than they have right now to run a basketball team in the Sacramento market – a market that they torch regularly with their antics – or sell the team and that brings us back to where we were in early September.
For Seattle to ironically take the Kings from Sacramento, Chris Hansen will need to drastically overpay to purchase and move the franchise, and if the notoriously deliberate businessman wants to do that then the NBA will still need to get behind the deal.
Given the fact that Sacramento has come up with a “model offer of public funds” according to one league source, a decision to allow the team to move will not be made lightly, as it will necessarily hurt the league in its negotiations with other cities for future arena subsidies.
In this case, the city of Sacramento has done everything the league could ask for and then some to help build an arena. The implication is that the league is asking cities for long-term investments of public dollars, but not providing a reasonable expectation of a long-term partnership so long as that city continues to provide reasonable partnership dollars into the future.
The part that is most threatening for the league in this scenario is how publicly embarrassing the Maloof family has become to the NBA, creating a real-life equivalent to the movie Major League, and in this day and age of information those images are exponentially more accessible to the public than they have been in previous arena quagmires.
With the league and its players receiving $3 billion dollars in arena subsidy money since 1990, any shift in public sentiment or political resistance on the issue could cost the league an unfathomable amount.
If Hansen won’t pay drastically more than Sacramento, then the Maloofs will likely need to sell to one of a handful of serious buyers out of California’s capitol city that are ready to buy the team right now.
It’s theoretically possible that another city could come into play, but given the fact that Sacramento is a one-sport town with the No. 20 TV market – chances are moving the franchise won’t make sense for the league or a new owner.
George and his siblings can’t simply do nothing, as the sky is falling at Sleep Train Arena and it’s anybody’s guess when it won’t be suitable for NBA games. This situation will come to a head and the only question is when the family gives up.
And until the NBA effectively finds a way to nudge George Maloof and his siblings out of their clubhouse, they will continue to panhandle for arena money at the expense of the logo.
We’ll get an update to you guys as soon as we learn whether or not this Seattle rumor has any legs.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Henry has missed four games this season.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
Rose could return Monday.
Nov 23, 2014, 2:01 PM EST
Bargnani was close to a return from his hamstring injury.
Nov 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
The Pelicans are now without two starters.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Combination of a lower price tag and a more diverse overall skill set may explain why.
Nov 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
When he uses his athleticism to get to the rim good things happen.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
“This is not even the lowest it’s going to get for us.” —LeBron James
Nov 23, 2014, 1:04 AM EST
There was nothing the Utah Jazz could do.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:30 PM EST
Adam Silver has said it should happen, and Cuban agrees.
Nov 22, 2014, 10:00 PM EST
Leonard missed time with an eye infection.
Nov 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EST
Dunleavy says he was just trying to foul to stop the clock. Watch and decide for yourself.
Nov 22, 2014, 7:06 PM EST
With him and starting power forward Terrence Jones out, the Rockets are very thin up front.
Nov 22, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
Detroit is next to last in field goal percentage on the season.
Nov 22, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Toronto won by 42 points, so this only matters if you had a certain Milwaukee player on your fantasy team.
Nov 22, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
Mike James or Will Bynum could be added to the roster for a short stint.
Nov 22, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Bledsoe says the Sixers warned him before the game that he would be targeted for his previous comments.
Nov 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
X-rays were negative but he is going to miss some time.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Both are expected to participate in parts of Saturday’s practice.
Nov 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
Nov 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
George is trying to get back on the court before the season is finished.
- LeBron James: “We’re a very fragile team right now” 39
- Dwight Howard out vs. Mavericks Saturday, no timetable for his return 2
- If Derrick Rose not ready to return by Monday Bulls may add point guard to roster 12
- Another day, another Bulls injury: Taj Gibson out with sprained ankle 11
- Report: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook could return to Thunder lineup next week 11
- Kobe Bryant says he took large enough discount for Lakers to contend 55
- Report: Jeff Taylor won’t appeal 24-game suspension 2
- Timberwolves’ Kevin Martin out indefinitely after scoring 31 points with fractured wrist 8