It’s now up to David Stern to clean up the arena mess in Sacramento, a position the NBA commissioner finds himself in on Friday as he prepares to meet with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento Kings ownership, the Maloofs.
If this Board of Governors’ meeting opens with a round of handshakes it might be the last time Mayor Johnson extends his hand to the Maloofs.
On Thursday night, Johnson issued a passionate and direct letter to the Maloof family stating how the city of Sacramento will not renegotiate their proposal toward a new area deal.
For Johnson, it is up to the Kings and their ownership group to follow through on their agreement.
“Your handshake is your handshake. Your promise is your promise,” Johnson said in the letter.
“We are 100% committed to moving forward under the framework laid out in the term sheet. And there should be no expectation in (Friday’s) conversation that this deal is subject to further negotiation. In light of these facts, the ball is in your court.”
The major snag in the deal in moving forward with plans for a new arena?
The Maloofs have said they do not believe the team should pay $3.25 million in pre-development costs. The Kings view themselves as a tenant in the new building and are now taking a firm stand much to Mayor Johnson’s disgust.
“Given all that the people of Sacramento have endured and achieved on your behalf,” Johnson continued in the letter, “we deserve nothing less than a partner who will work with the city in good faith and as a true partner.”
Johnson's letter comes a week after his public comments claiming the city of Sacramento "can't be jerked around" by the Maloofs.
There was also a second letter issued, this time to Stern from two dozen of the most prominent business owners in Sacramento accusing the Maloofs of not acting in good faith and calling for the current ownership to sell the Sacramento Kings.
And here the Kings thought their 19-40 record (second worst record in the Western Conference) was ugly.
Mayor Johnson will fly to New York on Friday to meet with Stern, NBA officials and the Maloofs in an attempt to salvage whatever remains of the deal to finance a new arena in Sacramento, but it is clear Johnson would feel better off if the Maloofs were out of the picture with the Kings.
In the end, the new area is projected to cost $391 million. And the Maloofs are hung up on $3.25 million after the family has already agreed to contribute $70 million to the final cost amount.
Yet it’s not only Johnson who is calling for the Maloofs ownership ouster.
The Sacramento Bee is running an editorial piece today simply title: “NBA must find new owners for the Kings”.
“The NBA wants the team to stay in Sacramento. The region wants the Kings to stay in Sacramento, and the city has done everything and more to keep the team here,” the piece reads.
“But this three-legged stool has a creaky leg. It is the Maloofs, and only the NBA can repair it.”
Well said.But in the end, Stern can only do so much and likely won’t force the Maloofs to sell the team or demand a new ownership group take over the Kings.
If the Kings fall under new ownership, it’s up to the Maloofs to make that deal.
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This is going to get seriously messy. George Maloof and the lawyers "representing" the Kings held a press conference today essentially stating that they never agreed to an arena deal with the NBA.
They don't have the money to put up for the arena (or money they are comfortable putting up), and they don't want anyone to know it.
Now David Stern and the BoG has to clean this all up, and they don't want to in any way. This is going to, at the worst, dramatically change the vetting process for owners or at least give pause to who they let in. The Maloofs are a great example of why Alex Meruelo was not allowed to own the Hawks. At some point if you don't have net wealth to absorb some hits, both with the team and in outside business, you're going to be hit hard.
What Kevin Johnson did, rightfully so, is put out a letter stating that we did what the NBA asked of us. The Maloofs are just stupid enough to think they can fight the world and win.
@Nate Hughart Sorry to hear about all this for your Kings. Man, it truly is quickly becoming a disaster. Yuck. Hopefully the Maloofs just sell them to a buyer that will keep them in Sacto, or something.
@CollegeWolf The Maloofs don't want to sell. They don't want loans from the NBA (and 7 million in free money). They don't want to be in Sacramento in any way shape or form. They are hoping Anaheim pans out (which it won't) for reasons that aren't quite clear to anyone else because of the rest of the human race isn't as stupid as the Maloofs.
@CollegeWolf Any alternative with the Maloofs will automatically fail because whatever brains their father had, George, Joe and Gavin did not inherit them. Their only smart brother (and how smart he is is questionable because he is a Maloof) is probably Phil, and he doesn't spend time in the public eye.
With brothers like that, why would you want to become publicly known?
@Nate Hughart Yeah, at least we THINK Taylor does. Sometimes I'm not so sure. Too bad he's such a financial idiot when it comes to running an NBA team though.
But you are right... it's better than your alternative.
@CollegeWolf Dave here's the bottom line with Taylor: He still loves Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
The Maloofs despise Sacramento for not being Southern California. Whatever mistakes Taylor has made, in part, because he loves the TC's so much. I'll take that over disingenuous ridiculous craptastic moronic idiots with bad haircuts and clothes designated for people 30 years their junior.
The Maloofs are scumbags wrapped up in Ed Hardy clothing. And they managed to own a NBA team. Sigh.....
@Nate Hughart Yeah, Glen Taylor is definitely a terrible doofus owner as well, you got that right. But I'd rather have him than the MaGoofs, sad to say.
I am hoping they lose ownership one way or the other as well. This league doesn't need scumbags like them. They have enough already...
Sounds like? It is mayne. Bottom line is the Maloofs dragged an anti-trust lawyert in the NBA BoG meeting yesterday. They are really considering filing an anti-trust lawsuit.
I have very low opinions of Glen Taylor, and even I think he's a saint compared to the Maloof family. That's how insanely stupid and clueless they really are. They are so vindictive and angry they want to burn the village to save it. Logic and the Maloofs; never put it in the same sentence or Logic might try to chop your head off for daring to be that audacious.
Right now I'm embarrassed to have believed that this was settled on March 6th. But maybe the best outcome will happen as a result: The Maloofs lose ownership one way or the other and the Kings stay in Sac. At this point that's the only real positive outcome for all parties.
@Nate Hughart Yuck. Sounds like a disaster..........