Joe Maloof talked for a few minutes on the Mason and Ireland show on 740 AM in LA, and since I happened to be listening to Dunleavy's side of the whole scenario (I skipped David Falk's side), I take the Clippers/Dunleavy's side wholeheartedly I might add--on a side note Clips Nation and Clippers blog have terrific stuff related to the whole incident from the euphoria to the "what the fuck just happened" moment a few days ago-- I thought I would transcribe the interview so you don't have to. But if you have to then the audio clip is here to listen to. (Note: It is about 3/4 of the way through, and Falk and Dunleavy were on the first 3/4 of it. Listen if you're interested in that too. It's pretty interesting.)
First part of the interview is what they're doing and what they're doing with Phil Maloof. Joe is talking about some band I don't care, and there talking about Hollywood Starlets. Again, I don't care. The shameful Palms plug happens. Blah Blah.
Ireland/Mason: The Lakers have made a trade request for Artest. Is it true?
Joe: Well you know they've called. They've called, and I think our GM Geoff has spoken to them (the Lakers) in the past regarding Ron. There alot of teams that really have an interest in him. And umm, right now with the Sacramento Kings he had a hell of a year last year. He averaged over 20 points a game and 4 or 5 assists. He's a great player you know. There's gonna be alot of interest in him.
Ireland/Mason: Are you, uh, a, a Lamar Odom fan?
Joe: Yeah, I like Lamar Odom, sure, he's terrific, a good ballplayer.
Ireland/Mason: How would he fit up there?
Joe: Well, that's not my decision. I'm not sure about that.
Ireland/Mason: Awww, Joe, you know you get to decide sooner or later. Cmon Joe, would you do it?
Joe: Lamar Odom is a great player, Artest is a good player. That's, that's as much as I can say right now.
Ireland/Mason: What's the likelihood that you guys will keep Artest for another year?
Joe: Well you know I love him as a player. Hey, I really do, he brings it every single night. Umm, You know I think if a few other teams had him this year during the playoffs it would have been a different situation. Noone could stop Paul Pierce but Artest gives him a run for his money. He really does. Ginobili, Artest can usually shut down Ginobili. Alot of players around the league understand how tenacious he is. He's great to have in your arsenal, he really is.
Ireland/Mason: Do you trust agents for the most part? Or when you're dealing with agents do you realize that they have to talk out of both sides of their mouth?
Joe: You know the NBA is like uh,different from any businesses we're in. It's so unbelievable. Things happen so quickly so fluidly, you have to be on guard. You never have a player on your team until they sign on the dotted line. I don't care. Too many things can go wrong, when you're after a player, you want to sign a player. It's all so very volatile, if you wait, and if you delay at any time with regards to negotiation with a player, and alot of times you're going to miss out on the guy. That's how it is on the NBA. So, to answer your question, you never know what's going to happen. You never know.
Ireland/Mason: So, Joe, would you say, that, though, the right way to do business is that your word is your word? Even in the NBA? Or is your word not the word in the NBA?
Joe: Well, with us, we give our word, we live and die by it. That's how we were brought up. That's how my family is. I don't know, I can't really comment too much on it because I really don't know what Elton said. You have to give Donald Sterling a lot of credit. He went after Baron Davis and signed him. He did the things, He's trying to bring a winner to Los Angeles. You gotta respect what Sterling's tried to do. I have a lot of respect for him trying to get Davis signed. As far as Elton Brand I don't know what happened there. I really don't.
Ireland/Mason: We have Joe Maloof, a co owner of the Sacramento Kings. Hey Joe, circling back to the trade talk with the Lakers. Would you hesitate to do a deal with the Lakers because they're in your division? Or does that not make any difference?
Joe: Well, you would think twice about it of course. You know, they're such, they're a rival of ours of course. Not anymore, not lately, we haven't had the team to rival them. But, Umm, We have alot of respect for their organization. And, umm, the Buss family does a great job. But, umm, if this, if this is gonna help us improve our team, and we think this will get us closer to a title, we will do a trade with any team. It doesn't matter.
The last question is about the quirkiness of Artest. It's not important. If you want to listen to the audio, and by all means I suggest doing so if you're a Kings wonk like I am.
Now for my analysis of the whole thing. A deal is imminent, or will be imminent shortly. Joe flip flopped on Odom vs Artest once, and flipped on whether Artest was a good or great player. He tried to modify it by saying he loves how hard he plays on the court every time he gets out there. (That was the last segment. I didn't really think it was relevent. He just mentioned how hard Ron competes. We know that. Doesn't matter for this though.) What's my guess? The Lakers, if the Kings get the package they want, that is, will be able to make a trade with the Kings, and the franchise's past acrimony, on the court anyway, won't matter as much. That's at least what Joe said publicly. But in the end, like most things, actions speak louder than words. TZ has opined before, and wisely I might add, that when Joe speaks stuff pop's out. Maybe something popped out this time around, and maybe not, but my bet is that a small admission that the Lakers as a trade partner is not a turnoff is an important admission, especially as a first step, to clearing the decks in an Artest deal. Particularly if the Lakers are the preferred trade partner.