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'Right to match' clause in Sacramento Kings sale picks up steam

A sports law expert has seen a minority partner's contract with the Maloofs and confirms that there is a "right to match" clause. Anyone know a lawyer?

Here's the short version of Thursday massive swerve in the Sacramento Kings sale proceedings: the Bee's Dale Kasler (a gentleman and a scholar) reported that the bankruptcy trustee in charge of Bob Cook's case -- which includes 7 percent of the Kings -- says there's a right for minority Kings owners to match a sale by the general partner (the Maloofs). Aaron Bruski got ahold of a contract from one of the minority owners and confirmed. Our friend Carmichael Dave began asking sports law expert Michael McCann about it, and eventually was able to send McCann a copy of a minority owner's agreement with the Maloofs and the other owners.

Here was McCann's response.


This isn't a slam dunk -- McCann goes on to explain that the wording is fairly vague, that the Maloofs could challenge the right and the ability of existing minority owners to bring in outside capital. (Like, can someone like John Kehriotis use Ron Burkle's money to buy the team?) What it means in practice is that there is a possibility for a very long court battle. (Fun!) Stay tuned. There's a hearing in the Cook bankruptcy on Thursday in which the trustee involved will press on this matter.

Also note that Kevin Johnson didn't exactly downplay this angle, but distanced himself from it. He's working on the NBA Board of Governors opportunity. The current minority owners will need to work on this side.