Thursday the Maloof brothers made their pitch to the NBA Board Of Governors in New York as to why they needed to move the franchise out of Sacramento.
The basics of their pitch, we aren’t as in debt as you may have heard, Sacramento just isn’t a thriving market anymore; there is statistical data to help support this notion, the unemployment rate, housing market etc all support the Maloofs claims. They also added an emotional factor. Their father, George Maloof Sr. was the former owner of the Houston Rockets franchise. After his death in 1979 the family sold the franchise a few years later and have always regretted that act.
Which is why the curve ball introduced by ex-NBA player and current Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson is so intriguing. Johnson informed the board that he has a Billionaire all lined up to purchase the Kings from the Maloof’s and keep the franchise in Sac.B
Billionaire Ron Burkle- yes, BILLIONAIRE- is a grocery-store magnate, owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins (that’s hockey…Oh you knew that, I didn’t) and a buddy of Bill Clinton. I wonder if this is the group that Chris Webber was speaking of on Tuesday night during the TNT broadcast.
Wednesday night after the Lakers beat the Kings in what may be the last game the Kings played in Sacramento was an emotional experience. Lakers guard Derek Fisher joined the Kings huddle for prayer and the fans not wanting to leave the arena knowing the likelihood that the franchise is moving on. Tough position to be in on both sides.
The good thing, if this doesn’t work out, the NBA has a team they own and would like to sell (The New Orleans Hornets) trade one failing NBA city for another perhaps?
curtsy to Pro Basketball talk