Posts Tagged ‘Maloof Family’

Virginia Beach Drops Bid For Kings

HANG TIME WEST – Making official what had been obvious all along, leaders in Virginia Beach, Va., said Tuesday they had no hope of luring the Kings this year and at least temporarily ended the attempt to get the team to relocate from Sacramento.

Mayor Will Sessoms told the Virginian-Pilot that “The city is kind of withdrawing…” and “The city doesn’t see a clear opportunity at this point and as such it’s not something we’re aggressively going after.” He told the Sacramento Bee that “This just ain’t gonna work at this point in time.”

What Sessoms apparently did not tell anyone but should have: “We didn’t ever have anything close to a concrete deal to offer the Kings. We wanted a firm commitment from them when we could not offer the same in return.”

It was questionable whether the Kings would have jumped coasts even under the best of circumstances – Virginia Beach would have been a small market with no recent history of major-league sports, no local ownership, and looking to energize a fan base long-term with a team that has been rowing in circles for years. Under these circumstances, though, it was the equivalent of trying to buy a house without any idea of how much the bank was willing to lend.

The deal called for the city to contribute $241 million, the state to add $150 million, and another $35 million in corporate backing from Comcast-Spectacor. One small problem: Virginia wasn’t in for the $150 million. Gov. Bob McDonnell said in December he would not request the funding in his 2013 budget.

Virginia Beach officials dismissed that setback and said they could re-apply for the money when the state General Assembly reconvenes, but that never happened. Local government leaders say they needed a commitment from the Kings to move forward – the team was never specifically named, but the identity was no secret – while the Kings understandably would not sign on without knowing all the specifics. They already had buyer’s remorse on a deal with Sacramento and the NBA to stay in California and backed out after agreeing to a new arena plan in their current home, so they weren’t going to go far down this road with so many unknowns.

In truth, the team’s owners, the Maloof family, were never emotionally invested in Virginia Beach as much as listening to offers in the never-ending search for a solution to the stalemate in Sacramento. It was the Maloofs’ idea to not have the Kings identified as the potential tenant, a silly game that played out while Team X was named in reports most every step of the way. Virginia Beach officials were disappointed in the insistence on secrecy on a secret that didn’t exist, knowing that making the idea of the NBA in town more tangible could have generated important enthusiasm.

The Virginia Beach offer that included a new 18,500-seat arena and $80 million for the Maloofs to offset relocation costs had the credibility boost of backing from Comcast-Spectacor, but was too much a swiss cheese of an offer. In the end, Sessoms said he called off the chase because of time demands at the state level to have any hope of securing the $150 million for Some Mysterious Team to apply for relocation before the NBA’s March 1 deadline.

It was true in the logistical sense, but also a fine bit of political spinning by the mayor to say the city is suspending efforts when the inability of local government to arrange financing was a major holdup. The other being that the Maloofs may never have wanted to go there anyway, but, either way, they had no way of making a decision without knowing the full details of the deal.

Tuesday’s announcement only means Virginia Beach is backing off for now. It can try again in the future, when the Kings will likely still be in a state of uncertainty with signs stronger than ever after this development that the team will be in the same place next season despite the lack of progress on a Sacramento arena.

Kings, NBA Reach Agreement On New Arena In Sacramento





LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.– The fourth-quarter rally led by LeBron James in the 61st NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night was impressive, but not quite enough.

On Monday afternoon, Mayor Kevin Johnson, a three-time former All-Star himself, showed how to close the deal in announcing a handshake deal with the Maloof family that will build a new downtown arena and keep the Kings in Sacramento.

“I really want to jump up and down right now, because I’m so excited,” said a smiling Johnson, standing in a hallway of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the sides had been meeting for the past two days.

“It’s a new day for Sacramento.  We’ve all been working around the clock to get to this point and it’s going to be a defining moment for our community. We have the framework of an agreement going forward.”

According to Joe Maloof, his family will make an upfront contribution of $73-million to the $387-million arena project. George Maloof said that the family will contribute roughly another $75-million over the life of the agreement.  The additional money will be funded by a surcharge on tickets for arena events.

“Our family is just so excited,” said Joe Maloof.  “We have a framework for a deal.  We always said we wanted to stay in Sacramento and now here’s our opportunity.”

That opportunity hardly seemed likely less than a year ago when talks between the Maloofs and the city were not fruitful and the family began to entertain offers to relocate the team to Anaheim, Calif.

The sides were working under a March 1 deadline set by the NBA in order for the details of a deal to be reached or the league would have cleared a path for relocation.

“(The Maloofs) have been a part of the glory years of Sacramento,” Johnson said. “They’ve been part of the ups and downs and they said that they always wanted to be in Sacramento,” Johnson said.  “They are the ones that decided not to file for relocation last May.  Had they filed, we wouldn’t be in this position. But they said they were going to give us a year.”

When the Sacramento city council votes, as expected, to approve the deal on March 6, it will likely dash the hopes of not only Anaheim, but Seattle as well.  NBA commissioner David Stern had said over the weekend that a new ownership group for the New Orleans Hornets is expected to be approved soon, eliminating them for potential relocation, and the league has no plans for expansion beyond its current 30 teams.

“I think when we left Sacramento and came to Orlando, you guys asked me how close were we,” Johnson said.  “I thought it was a free throw and you need to make two free throws.  I think the city made the first free throw and the Maloof family made the second free throw.  It’s game-over, so our community should be really, really excited.”

Both sides said Stern was a driving force in the bringing the deal to a successful conclusion in the final days and the commissioner said that was the mandate given to him by the league’s owners.

“From an NBA perspective, the owners … authorized me to be as supportive as we can possibly be in this process so that we could cement the future of the NBA in Sacramento.  I’ve had the great pleasure, tuxedo and all, of opening up two arenas and I’m looking forward to opening up a third in Sacramento.

“That was my hope last April when it came to a head. That’s what we’ve spent a year doing. There have been some who suggested it was a fool’s errand, but I don’t think any of us felt the least bit foolish.  We think this was a worthy cause, a worthy goal and if you bang your head against the wall enough, you get good results.”

Johnson said his confidence grew during the day-long negotiations on Sunday.

“They’ve said all along that they wanted to be in Sacramento and we just had to put a deal together that made sense to them,” he said.  “When I heard them say that yesterday, that just gave me the certainty that there was a sincere effort on everyone’s part to be in Sacramento.”

Johnson characterized the deal as “something bigger than basketball,” a spur to the renewal of downtown Sacramento.

Stern said the agreement would lead to Sacramento having an NBA celebration like the one that just concluded in Orlando.

“We’re talking about hotel stock right now and we’re working on it,” he said.  “We’ll turn downtown into a festival of All-Star Weekend eventually.”

Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof literally shed tears of joy at the announcement, taking nearly a minute to compose himself before TV cameras.

“I think it’s great for our community,” he said. “I’m glad that it’s finally coming to an end after 13 years.”

Hang Time Podcast All-Star Special With David Stern And Arne Duncan

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With All-Star Weekend just days away, we knew it was time to break out the heavy hitters.

And when we say heavy hitters, we mean the heaviest of hitters in the realm of basketball and beyond. No, we didn’t corral Jeremy Lin yet and Kobe Bryant didn’t return our call either. But we’ve got the next best thing.

NBA Commissioner David Stern joined us for a visit, dropping in on us after sitting down for an afternoon interview with TNT’s David Aldridge at the league’s New York offices, and didn’t disappoint. Stern dished on the Lin phenomenon, his thoughts on the upcoming All-Star Weekend, why it he doesn’t have a problem with rewarding veteran stars come All-Star bid time, how the league has thrived in the wake of the lockout and so much more.

Following the Commissioner (never an easy thing to do), we rapped with former Harvard co-captain, Academic All-American and pro basketball player, and current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who took time out of his busy schedule to talk about his Harvard connection with Lin, his Chicago Bulls and his unique ties to both the team’s coach (Tom Thibodeau) and its biggest star (Derrick Rose). He also shared what it’s like playing ball with President Barack Obama in those famous White House pick up games (we’re ready whenever you need us Reggie Love) and so much more.

Check out all of that and so much more  on Episode 70 of the Hang Time PodcastThe All-Star Special:

LISTEN HERE: 

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Some highlights of what Stern had to say to DA after the jump.

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Blogtable: Kings’ future

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Sacramento’s Kings possibly (probably?) moving to Anaheim: Depressing, alarming, no biggie … or what?

Steve Aschburner: Disappointing. The answer to the NBA’s small-market problem isn’t to shed the small markets. The answer is to negotiate a system with the players that enables the little towns to compete in the standings and for marquee guys. Sacramento has been a rabid NBA town in the past and that sort of enthusiasm needed to be nurtured and protected, not frittered away by a franchise headed south (on the court and on the map).

Fran Blinebury: Cincinnati to Kansas City/Omaha to Sacramento to Anaheim.  Shouldn’t the NBA insist that the franchise at least install wheels to make all these moving days easier? As one who was at the first playoff series in Sac between the Kings and Rockets in 1986 and at the epic series with the Lakers in 2002, I’ll miss the kind of passion that only comes in a one-team town.  I already miss the bagel dogs at the old Arco Arena. (more…)

Sacramento Kings = Anaheim Royals?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – From the Sacramento Kings to the Anaheim Royals.

It could happen.

Now that an attorney for the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has filed for the trademark papers for the Royals name in federal court, it’s a very real possibility. The Kings have until April 18 to formally request the league allow it to move to a new city for the next season.

In the meantime, all of the possibilities are being explored, as this latest news clearly indicates.

So what do you think of the Kings becoming the “Anaheim Royals of Southern California,” per the Sacramento Bee:

“The lawyer also registered the names Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals on that same date.

The filings, listed on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, are dated March 3, days after the National Basketball Association granted the Kings an extended period to consider moving the team to Anaheim for the upcoming season.

NBA Commissioner David Stern confirmed the Kings have been in talks with Honda Center officials in Orange County.

Kings officials have declined to discuss any potential move. The attorney who filed the trademark names, Scott Hervey, could not be immediately reached Wednesday afternoon. Hervey is listed in federal registries as the “correspondent” for the Maloof Cup, a skateboard competition run by Joe and Gavin Maloof, co-owners of the Kings.

Also, on Feb. 23, an unknown entity filed for control of the Internet domain names “anaheimroyals.com” and “laroyals.com.

It will definitely take some getting used to, if the Kings do make the move. We’re still deciding here at the hideout exactly how we feel about this whole thing.