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Report: Kings buyer who would keep team in Sacramento has made formal offer to Maloofs

Jan 11, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

As we told you earlier, the sale of the Kings won’t be a done deal until it is actually a done deal — contracts signed, press conferences convened, a river of tears flowing through the streets of Sacramento, etc.

Shortly after the initial report of the deal being done came out, our own Aaron Bruski reported that it wasn’t quite a done deal just yet, and that the Maloofs want a bidding war.

And around we go. Just as we had an earlier report today that it was (once again) essentially done and that the team will in fact be sold to the Seattle ownership group, now comes one that says a legitimate buyer has surfaced who not only has made an offer for the team, but who would keep it in Sacramento.

From Ken Berger of

Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24-Hour Fitness who finished second to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber in bidding for the Warriors, told Friday he has interest in buying the Kings and keeping the franchise in Sacramento.

“Definitely, there’ve been conversations,” Mastrov said from his northern California office. “Definitely there’s interest in acquiring the team and keeping it in Sacramento.”

Mastrov met with the Maloofs recently, and two league sources speaking on condition of anonymity said he has made a formal offer.

So, where does this leave us?

Well, if the league is truly interested in keeping the Kings in Sacramento and the price offered was reasonable — and, as noted in this report, it wouldn’t have to be as high as a group planning on relocating due to the cost of a loan from the city not needing to be repaid in full at the time of the sale — then they could not-so-gently nudge the Maloofs in the direction of taking this offer.

If the price offered by the Seattle group includes additional dollars in order to overpay for the right to relocate a team out of one NBA market and into another, however, that could be problematic, because the current ownership is going to want to (obviously) maximize any profits gained through a potential sale.

Again, nothing is final until it is actually final. And with one legitimate potential buyer emerging locally who would keep the team in Sacramento, things are likely to get much more complicated before they are ultimately settled.

  1. cosanostra71 - Jan 11, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    cool story bro

  2. BigBeachBall - Jan 11, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    do the right thing maloof…you creepy looking gargoyle…

  3. ron05342 - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    You, sir, are a certified moron.

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    it’s as if the Maloofs have a personal vendetta against the city of Sacramento and want to spite them any way they can.Sell the team and get out of the NBA and never return.

  5. praetorian12 - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    A little bit of actual journalism would demonstrate that Mr. Lacob has a net worth of $350 Million. Mr. Ballmer is worth over $15 Billion, which does not include Mr. Hansen’s billions. Not sure how Mr. Lacob is going to finance a purchase price that is asking for more than his net worth.

    Sounds like the Maloofs are playing the heart strings of the Sacramento fans to try and drive a few more million out of Ballmer. Sorry, Sacto (I’m being serious… I am sorry).

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      And a little bit of actual commenting would demonstrate that Mr. Lacob is the owner of the Golden State Warriors and is highly doubtful to put in a bid on a second basketball team.

    • brianspider - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      What cosanostra said.

      On top of that, keep researching. Mastrov sold 24 hour for 1.7 billion 5 years ago. You might be confused, it was reported that he put in a 350 million dollar bid on the Warriors, but lost out to Lacob and Co.

    • badintent - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Ballmer and his boys have bought over 100 software and hardware companies in the past 20 years. They get rid of competition with buyouts or lawsuits. They take no prisioners.. Kinda hard to smoke in their room if you catch my drift.

  6. rap49er - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    It’s like my ex-wife once told me, I really enjoy being married, just not to you! Sacramento loves to have an NBA team, just not the Maloofs team.

  7. smcgaels1997 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Do you really think this Ballmer group is going just pay anything? You don’t think this “group” that wants to keep the team is Sac is not just one person… Billionaire Ron Burkle is also in involved. This Seattle group isn’t the end all of all end alls so let it all play out and see where it goes..if you think the NBA is just going to say sure go to Seattle if competitive offers could keep them local net the Maloofs the same..don’t forget the 525 million included the 77 million owed to sac and a relo fee of est 70 million so 525 doesn’t all go to the Maloofs

  8. joenash72 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Besides Ballmers Microsoft $15 billion & chris hansen billion, Seattle group also has Nordstroms brothers.

    Sacremento supposedly banking on Larry Ellison the Oracle guy, wiki says he worth $45 billion.

    But if he didn’t get involved prior to now, is he gonna come-in this late in the game? Besides buying the team, he’d likely need to lead way on arena as well…… if he has $45 billion, he could do it, but wiki also says he big into America Cup sailboat racing. Wonder if he will be Sacremento’s white knight?

    • brianspider - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      The team was not for sale apparently until a few days ago. Will be interesting to see what/how many potential bidders will come out of the woodwork.

      • joenash72 - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:21 AM

        Reports here in Seattle yesterday said Maloofs not only wanted to maintain a minority share of ownership, but they also wanted to still have a say in running the team. So when the report came-out this morning that the money was supposedly bumped-up from $500 to $525 million, and that Maloofs would have zero involvement, it made sense.

        Scary thing for Sacremento now is, what if Maloofs figure out a way to get some of these local billionaires to kick-in $$$$$, and at the same time retain majority control? I guess you could argue “at least we kept the team here…”.

        Sounds like between Burkle, the Sleep Train guy, etc they can come-up with an ownership group. Especially with the advantage over the Seattle group of not having to pay-off the loans from city & NBA immediately & no relocation fee. But new arena issue still looms. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the deal Kevin Johnson had set-up that gave all that future parking revenue to the team, is it really feasible?

      • brianspider - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Joenash, yes it is. It is still on the table. All it needs is the 70 mil or so from Kings ownership. That is at least my understanding.

  9. vegagreenleaf - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Pricejustin24, just what arbitrary criteria would you use to justify your statements? Which cities “deserve” a team? I would opine that you don’t deserve Internet connectivity. My arbitrary criterion, you ask? Well that’s easy – your posts. Dolt…

  10. digg2000 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    If there is legitimately an equal paying buyer that would keep the team in Sacramento, that’s just jacked if Stern lets them leave. “NBA Cares” my a**.

  11. Vindickative - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Watching the Kings blow that 16-point lead late in the game last night, then make a miracle shot to force overtime and then STILL LOSE, I thought to myself, “Boy I sure hope these guys don’t leave town.”

  12. saint1997 - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    hahah look at your likes to dislikes!!!

  13. jeffesky - Jan 12, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    GO HAWKS!! Having said that ,as a Sonics fan it is and honest hurt we lost are team the way we did but in the end it was our citys and our numb nuts starbucks owner at the time. So in the end we the fans lost our team. With the Kings its the same situation so I feel terrible for the fans down there. It sucks now but if the Kings do leave then it really hurts. Ive not watched an NBA game since the Sonics left and im stoked we may get a team back sooner than expected. We lost our NHL hockey team ,The Metropolitains(that won the stanley cup in 1918),we lost our MLB team ,the Pilots in 1970 (thier now the Brewers) nearly lost the Seahawks and of course the Sonics. Being a Seattle sports fan has been trying for generations so we feel your pain Kings fans. If they come here (50/50 shot) we will embrace them but its really a sad sad situation for you all down there.

  14. kws001 - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I’m really torn on this as an old Sonics fan. I’m okay with Sacramento keeping the Kings, but there probably isn’t another way for Seattle to get another team. My gut tells me that the Maloofs will opt to sell locally and the Kings will stay put.

  15. fanz928 - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Sac town sucks they should release everyone and get the kings out of the NBA

  16. rollteal - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Me being an outsider looking in. Honestly the perfect solution would be For the Kings to be Purchased by one of the local owners & Remain in Sacramento With the new arena as part of the deal.

    And as part of this deal Seattle should get a freaking expansion team. If Charlotte can get one 2 years after the Hornets move them why can’t Seattle.

  17. jprcox - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    This cannot be good for the NBA – they made a mess first when Sonics left for OKC, when there is no way Seattle should have lost that team. The way the NBA did it, having a buyer say he would keep Sonics in Seattle, then just orchestrating a “reason” to move them – when Seattle is a great market, and supported the Sonics for years.

    Now the same sort of rail-roading is being done to Sac. I live in Seattle, and it makes me sick how this is “going down”. I don’t blame SAC for wanting to keep their team – they have supported them for years too. All teams lose some “support” when the team goes through a losing streak year after year. Anyways, this whole thing – starting with Sonics moving to OKC, and now SAC looking to lose their beloved team shows the NBA to be a cool heartless orginization. It would be nice if we could group together as fans and send a message that its not cool how they handle themselves. BAD BAD BAD.

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