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Report: Maloofs want NHL or MLB team, so they will sell to Sacramento if Seattle deal dies

Apr 12, 2013, 1:11 PM EST

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Maloof family — the owners of the Sacramento Kings still — were in the room with the Seattle group trying to buy the team when they made their pitch to a committee of owners last week. How much that really helped the Seattle group is up for debate — the one thing everybody on both sides of this debate agree on is they are sick of the Maloofs.

Next Thursday and Friday in New York the NBA owners (officially as a group called the Board of Governors) will meet in New York and among the topics to be discussed is whether to approve a sale of the Kings to a group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer — wealthy guys with a plan to move the team to Seattle starting next season and build a new arena.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson put together a counter offer with billionaire money (Vivek Ranadive, Mark Mastrov, and Paul Jacobs) and a stadium plan of its own to get built near downtown Sacramento. It’s the kind of offer the NBA and other professional sports leagues want to see from cities with teams — a lot of public money and community support rallied around the franchise.

Anybody who tells you they know for sure what the owners will do next week is a fool — nobody is certain on this. But read the tea leaves and it seems Sacramento may have the eight votes they need to block the sale to the Seattle group.

And if that happens, as we have said before would likely happen, the Maloofs will sell to the Sacramento group.

This is confirmed by a new report in the Sacramento Bee — but it is the reasoning that is new. And kind of funny.

They want their money and they want to pursue another professional sports franchise in Major League Baseball or the NHL, hence their 5 p.m. deadline today for the Sacramento-based investors to submit a written matching offer for the Kings….

On Thursday, sources close to the Maloofs said that if the Sacramento group submits a matching offer that satisfies the league’s other owners, they will embrace an outcome that keeps the Kings in Sacramento.

To be up front, PBT never reported on the Friday deadline before now because it’s meaningless. It’s just the Maloofs trying to assert some control over a situation where they have no control. If Seattle is rejected the Maloofs only options are to sell to the Sacramento group or hold on to the team. So they will deal with Sacramento. And a deal will get done. The deadline is moot.

But let’s get to the key point — the Maloofs don’t want to hold on to a team because the guys too poor to field a quality NBA team want into the NHL business? Or the MLB business?

The Maloofs have met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and have for months looked into buying a hockey franchise, with Las Vegas among the possible destinations. Their interests also have expanded and included opportunities in Major League Baseball.

I know how popular Bettman is among hockey fans, what they think of his intelligence, but even then he is too smart to get into bed with the Maloofs. Right? Same with Bud Selig. Right?

The NBA owners do not have an easy choice next week — these are two good offers before them. Seattle is a bigger, wealthier market and its owners define the words “deep pockets.” But for a league that will go to more than a dozen cities in the next 12 years and say “you need to help us out with arena upgrades/a new arena” to walk away from a city that did everything a league could ask sets a bad precedent. The owners will ultimately vote what they think is best for their own pocketbooks long term. But nobody knows for sure what that choice will be.

One way or another, a week from now we should know the fate of the Kings. And then maybe this franchise and its fans can move on to the next step.

  1. illegalblues - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    good god, keep these curs out of baseball

  2. geicocaveman - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I am shocked that 8 owners are willing to hurt their own future leverage over a city by voting against a franchise moving.

  3. loungefly74 - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    these guys should be “86ed” from owning ANY pro team. their brand is soiled. sell the team the Sac Group and then get the F outta here.

    • herradler1021 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      Hey, loungefly and all other commentators and readers —– ANY CITY choosing to get involved with the Maloof family IN ANY CAPACITY deserves whatever happens to them. Let the Maloof boys go back to Vegas and hang around the Ghost Bar, impressing the starry eyed females and the wanna be pimps of the world just how “cool” they are.

      I feel badly that Sacramento may lose their team, but that is indeed the price to pay for allowing such low life “owners” into the fold at the outset. Kevin Johnson and his allies have done everything possible to keep a team in town. Seattle, too, has put up DEEP POCKET funds, and the city itself is backing the return of NBA ball back to the Emerald city.

      WHATEVER HAPPENS — All cities in every professional sport should giv the Maloof family a wide berth.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        but I remember when those guys came on…they brought a lot of excitement and fun to the franchise…they were appearing to be in the “mark Cuban ballpark”…which a lot of people love and is good for the league. I was fooled…so were a lot of people. its easy to be tricked by glitz and glam. I just hope Sac gets outta this quagmire alive…

  4. geicocaveman - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    A Las Vegas hockey team sounds good

    • MyTeamsAllStink - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Las Vegas resident here.

      not only is there no interest in hockey here there’s no interest in pro sports here at all.No NHL ready arena nor is there any plans for one.Vegas sucks as a sports town it’s a betting town.and despite what you’ve heard UNLV basketball doesn’t draw nearly like it did during tarks years.

  5. harper2 - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I am sorry to the Seattle fans who are just now realizing that they are probably not getting our team. But as I have posted on here many times, this was NEVER a done deal from the minute you chose Sacramento as the city you would try to steal a team from. We may be a cow town, and we may have some of the lowest attendance records the last few years, but as you can tell, we don’t take losing our team very lightly.Sacramento was the wrong city to f*** with with.

    • Distinguished Male - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      “Chose Sacramento as the city you would try to steal a team from”

      Hunh? I think they “chose” Sacramento because the Maloofs were interested in selling. If Seattle could have picked a team of their choosing, don’t you think they would have tried to “steal” the Thunder?

      Don’t be so bitter, man. In your hate fueled rant, maybe you forget that Seattle themselves just had a team torn from their city. No one WANTS to lose a team, nor do they take it lightly, especially from a fan viewpoint.

      No one is effing with you brah, you just have terrible, terrible owners and Seattle wants a team back. Calm down already.

  6. Robert Dobalina - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    “But for a league that will go to more than a dozen cities in the next 12 years and say “you need to help us out with arena upgrades/a new arena” to walk away from a city that did everything a league could ask sets a bad precedent. ”

    Kurt, do you honestly believe that Sacramento would have done “everything a league could ask” had they not been threatened with the Seattle offer and the possibility of a move? I doubt it. So let’s not start the whole “Sacramento didn’t do anything wrong” narrative here, OK. They waited and waited and waited and waited and they finally got something together when a gun was held to their heads. Now even after all this, they may still be too late to save the team. And it will be no one’s fault but their own.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      They had an agreement a year ago, it was the Maloofs who backed out of it.

  7. DonRSD - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Sorry Seattle – you better keep waiting.

    LETS GO HEAT!!!

  8. drewvt6 - Apr 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    The maloofs would do well with an arena league football team or in the xfl. Maybe the Canadian football league would let them in?

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Canadians aren’t stupid enough to let them move to their country.

  9. kylexitron - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Whatever happens, the motivation for each city if obvious and the NBA clearly needs to consider expansion even if it leads to an odd number of teams.

    The Sac. group has a passionate base trying to keep the team and that should be recognized – it’s the kind of support from local politics that doomed Seattle a few years ago.

    On the other side, the Seattle group would be some of the most capable and sound ownership in the NBA, and would have an amazing new area with no expense spared to make both the team and venue a successful top-tier offering.

  10. jimbo75025 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    MLB will not approve Mark Cuban to own a team and while he is a bit of a dork sometimes he is an owner who has no issues spending money to try to win. Why on earth would they approve the Maloofs who are more annoying and have to pinch pennies?

    • biasedhomer - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Well they do have Jeff Loria, who is 100x more stingy than the Maloofs.

  11. ronmagnifico - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    These guys should be banned from all sports ownership. They’ll just drive another franchise off the cliff. Amazing.

  12. trickybastard - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Amen Harper2

    @Distinguished Female: now we know why you don’t have a team. If you don’t even know you’re in a street fight, you got no chance.

  13. jrazz22 - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Robert Dobalina
    Apr 12, 2013, 11:54 AM PDT
    “But for a league that will go to more than a dozen cities in the next 12 years and say “you need to help us out with arena upgrades/a new arena” to walk away from a city that did everything a league could ask sets a bad precedent. ”

    Kurt, do you honestly believe that Sacramento would have done “everything a league could ask” had they not been threatened with the Seattle offer and the possibility of a move? I doubt it. So let’s not start the whole “Sacramento didn’t do anything wrong” narrative here, OK. They waited and waited and waited and waited and they finally got something together when a gun was held to their heads. Now even after all this, they may still be too late to save the team. And it will be no one’s fault but their own
    ——————————————————–
    They already had an area deal in place a couple of years ago with an agreement the Kings would stay if they got it done. Sacramento held up its end of the deal and the parhetic Maloofs backed out. There was no waiting like you stated, they had a deal in place. Try again.

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