There is reason for optimism. There is cause for hope. Cooler heads and a downtown ESC to start the 2015 NBA season can still prevail.
No, I am not high on Adrianne Maloofs’ hairspray fumes.
The respective parties left Orlando with a framework to a deal. When the meat was added to the bone, the Maloofs decided to pick it apart with their cosmetic veneers.
Unfortunately, their artificial choppers and ample bellies were not invited to the dinner table.
Bad analogies aside, this whole ESC negotiation was inherently flawed from the outset, and not just because George was a disheveled participant.
One self-interested party, the NBA, negotiating on behalf of another self-interested party, the Maloofs, is rife with potential for conflict. To overcome the inevitable contention in order for a deal to be struck, the subordinated party should be granted opportunity to voice any, and all, displeasure.
The Maloofs’ displeasure, and proposed counter terms, however insanely or deal-breakingly deemed, went disregarded for weeks. Ultimately, their revised conditions were indirectly dismissed in the form of a poorly timed, poorly conceived public letter from Mayor Johnson.
This much we know as fact. And this is when the deal went kaplooey.
There is good faith negotiation. There is bad faith negotiation. And then there is fair attempt at negotiation that never transpired because your email got lost in cyberspace, and because your cornered response got lost in a political paper shuffle.
When the NBA owners broached a new deal with NBA players, and before settling on the lesser side of an even revenue split, they asked for elimination of all guarantee contracts and 62% of all basketball dollars! Reduction of player BRI (basketball related income) from 57% to 38% was ridiculously proposed to compensate owners for millions in alleged losses. Insane and deal-breaking at the outset, the owners came to their senses, ratified a hard-fought compromise, and cast greedy eye to more palatable financial future.
Uninvited to this prolonged mess, George was still paying attention.
When it comes to ESC tenancy, or pursuit of sashed loveliness, ask and ye shall receive. Or not. But ask nonetheless. Just be willing to bear the consequences for an unabashed display of self-interest, including public backlash from a feverish, yet forgiving fan base, as last night’s attendance tally vs. OKC attests, or back turn from Miss Tennessee proves.
As Commissioner Stern would say, life is a negotiation.
More significantly, negotiation, life is.
Anyways, I think I speak for everyone in this virtual realm when I say we just want a shiny new downtown ESC for our Kings for the next 30 years, and a suitable venue to win multiple NBA championships.
Is that too much to ask, less the multiple titles part?
No. More precisely, NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
We are the best fans in the NBA, and deserving of a state of the art facility with ample corridor width and abundant self-flushing urinals. And a team that doesn’t 20-43 suck!
A consistent winner is GM Petrie’s job, Coach Smart’s hyperactive responsibility, and a 2012-2013 roster’s collective ambition.
Until then, here’s how Mayor Johnsons delivers on a new ESC, once and for all:
It is easy to be petty, to distrust, to shun. It is easy to hold a grudge. It is easy to say, f*ck you Maloofs, you suck elephant testicles. It is easy to hate.
Hate is for losers.
I would appeal to the Maloofs higher nature, to their noble spirit that contradicts the Sin City lifestyle. I think Mayor Johnson will too.
George is not a bad guy, after all. Just ask his Mom.
Eliminate the Middle Man.
This deal never had a snowballs chance in Hades until the two parties sat down together and hashed out the particulars, eye to eye, and principal to principal. The NBA always was a facilitator in all of this, never more than an instigator and financier towards hopeful deal. The Maloofs always had the final say on whether this deal was a ‘go’ or not. They exercised their right to say ‘not so fast’.
Deal? Arms half-court raised? Shovelers to be shoveling? Mortars to be mortaring?
Psyche, construction dudes!
Mayor Johnson miscalculated when he thought a deal was done. He assumed a deal with the NBA equated into a deal with the Kings. He celebrated prematurely. He tried to strong-arm the Maloofs into signing upon the dotted line. It backfired. He skipped a major step along the path to a new ESC, an agreeable partner without reservation.
Mayor Johnson learned the Maloofs can change their mind too. But that’s OK, man. It means their minds can be changed again; this time to mutual benefit.
We Love You (sort of).
George, Gavin and Joe want to be loved. Don’t we all? I do. The Maloofs are unloved and despised by a fringe component of passionate Kings fans, all navigating these boards, apparently. The haters are always the loudest. They are also the minority, again as the OKC attendance tally suggests.
Still, the love does not exist in Anaheim. It exists here. Sacramento loves you, George.
Take off your sports coat, George, kick off your studded loafers, the masseuse is on her way. She’s gorgeous and talented in multitude of ways. Let her massage your neck, and more. She’ll get rid of the ESC stress, the StR angst, and the knot in your neck. That feels nice, right? Its gonna be OK, George. Let’s order a bottle of champagne, let’s envision the pleasures that await…
Let me leave you two lovebirds alone.
Before I leave, sign here.
You get the idea. George wants to feel wanted. He needs to feel wanted. Do what it takes, Mayor Johnson, including the escort section of the Las Vegas telephone book. /humor
The Illusion of Negotiation.
Sometimes all you have to do is listen. Just ask your girlfriend, or your blow-up doll. /humor
I am not so sure the Maloofs were ever completely heard during this ESC negotiation process. In other words, the failure to consummate a deal could lie primarily in the absence of meaningful dialog between the city and the owners.
That doesn’t mean Mayor Johnson needed to agree, or concede to their demands. It means he needed to acknowledge their concerns, the inherent risk in any debt obligation, and alleviate hesitancy with best case, worse case, and most likely revenue projections, all the while seeking common ground.
Is this not due diligence among prudent participants?
Simply registering your concerns entering into a $67 million dollar obligation could mitigate significant obstacles to a long-term partnership.
Just listen, and nod your head. Again, reference your gal pal, real or imagined. She will love you for it, as will George.
Dollars Equals Status.
$67 million dollars is not chump change, fronted or out of pocket. $67 million plus interest is a future obligation, whether or not ticket revenue covers the periodic payment due. There is an opportunity cost, as well. In other words, does the added cost of debt justify the prospective additional revenue less PBP net receipts?
Apparently, it doesn’t. Or this post would not be about ESC frustrations. It would be about our favorable tanking efforts, the struggles of Tyreke, or other pertinent on court issues.
Instead the pertinent question is this:
Does the current revenue to the Maloofs from Power Balance Pavilion exceed the prospective revenue, less the debt coverage required of the new ESC?
If it does, they are not signing. That is all there is to it. Convince them otherwise, Mayor Johnson.
Alternately, if the Maloofs add more upfront towards the contribution of the new ESC, can they reasonably anticipate a greater return than presently forecast?
This is not about your inferiority complex to larger markets, or your lingering animosity to silver spooned inheritors, Kings fans. This is about dollars and cents. Make ‘em add up, Mayor Johnson. Then, the Maloofs will sign.
Moreover, do not hesitate to convey that the more the Maloofs offer upfront, in excess of $67 million (only 18% of new ESC costs), the settlement period on a stock sale is three business days, by the way, the more they establish themselves as more than just tenants, and entitled to be treated accordingly.
If you want real revenue, then pay to play.
WWDTD (What Would Donald Trump Do)?
I am over the Maloofs are broke-as-joke jokes. Boring. Unimaginative. Played out. Next person who cracks a 2% joke must include copy of their bank statement.
Guess what? Adversity is part of life. It’s not what happens to you that counts, its how you respond as a result.
I have been fired, dumped, rejected and punched in the face. I have dealt with more bullshit than all my friends, and I have a few. I am also a condo owner, a fast car owner, and moving/semi-retiring to Honolulu in about ten days. I date woman that look like Rihanna and Miranda Kerr, sometimes in the span of one weekend.
Not bragging, just sayin’… adversity is an opportunity in disguise.
Fair enough, the Maloofs may be nearly broke, but they gave away cool sh*t last night!!!
I believe George just wants to do right. Recoup his losses. Proceed with caution. Make his dead father proud. And this includes a possible long-term union with the city of Sacramento.
I have heard of another guy named Donald Trump that was once on the verge of bankruptcy, buried in debt and bad investments, but he never succumbed to the reality of his circumstances. He envisioned a more prosperous future. His actions were guided by a persistent vision of success and abundance.
If I were Mayor Johnson, I would nudge George towards similar vision, vibrant and lucrative.
Ask yourself, George, what would Donald do?
No, George, not that Donald...
Go Donald! Go KJ! Go ESC!
You are not dead yet.