LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Brothers George Maloof Gavin Maloof and Joe Maloof watch a preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center October 13 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. The Lakers won 98-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The recent Virginia Beach relocation rumors have riled up Kings fans over the last week, but as we've seen from their presentation earlier today, there doesn't seem to be much substance to them.
However, just because a move to Virginia Beach seems unlikely, does not mean that Kings fans should not be worried. To these eyes, and many others, it seems clear the Maloofs do not consider Sacramento as their primary long-term option. George Maloof's infamous tear-down of the Sacramento Entertainment & Sports Complex plan in April effectively burned any remaining bridges the Maloof family had with the city of Sacramento, and no attempts have been made since at reconciliation. Such attempts would likely be fruitless anyway pending a change in attitude from the Maloofs. According to a report from Aaron Bruski, the Maloof family is split internally on what to do, but George Maloof in particular has a grudge against Sacramento and would prefer to relocate.
Unfortunately for us Kings fans, we don't have many options. The ideal situation would be for the Maloofs to sell the team to an owner who will keep the team in Sacramento and work with the city to build a new Entertainment & Sports Complex. However, the Maloofs have long indicated that they will not sell the team, and as Carmichael Dave recently reported on the CD Network, they recently turned down a $400 million + offer from billionaire Chris Hansen, who wants to bring back a team to Seattle. The Maloofs have also rebuffed interest from Ron Burkle and other unnamed individuals. With the loss of their Casino & Hotel business, being NBA owners is pretty much the only thing the Maloofs have to hang their hats on.
The Maloofs want to have their (red velvet) cake and eat it too. They're looking for an additional investor in the team while maintaining control of daily operations. In any arena deal, they want to put as little money in as possible, and get a majority of the benefit. One of the main reasons they rejected the recent Sacramento deal was because they would be merely tenants and share revenue with AEG and the city of Sacramento.
The sad thing is, that there might just be a city/investor out there that is starved for a sports team that they will acquiesce to the excessive and unreal demands of the Maloof Family. We can only hope that if this happens, the NBA steps up to help us once again, or the Maloofs bungle that deal just like they've bungled the last few deals they've tried to do.
The saga continues, and we can only hope that unlike Sisyphus, Kings fans reach the top of this particular hill.