HoopsHype Gavin Maloof rumors

January 22, 2013 Updates

When it comes to overall market size, Seattle has the advantage. In Nielsen’s TV market rankings for the 2012-13 season, the Seattle-Tacoma area is ranked 12th and boasts approximately 1.8-million households to its credit. But that benefit does shrink a bit when taking into account that Seattle already has three major league teams. Sacramento, meanwhile, is eight spots below Seattle in the DMA rankings. As the 20th largest TV market in the country, the capital city along with the Stockton and Modesto areas combine to make up 1.4-million households. But consider this: Sacramento is one of just two NBA cities in Nielsen’s top 20 that have 100 percent market share. Outside of Sacramento, only Orlando, ranked 19th, can make such a claim. “If you look at how other cities have NBA teams, most of them have more than one professional team,” said Johnson in his press conference at city hall almost two weeks ago. “In Sacramento, there’s one professional major league team and it’s the Sacramento Kings.” Cowbell Kingdom

Considering the deep pockets of the Hansen-Ballmer group and the fact that Seattle is, according to Arbitron, the 13th largest media market in the country and Sacramento is 27th, the overwhelming sentiment around the league is that the move would be approved. Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof, on behalf of the Maloof family, said in a statement: "We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have had a great admiration for the fans and our team members. We would also like thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise." USA Today Sports

April 20, 2012 Updates

The arena deal rejected by the Sacramento Kings' owners would have brought the team around $11 million a year in profits, according to the company that would have operated the building. Confidential revenue and profit projections developed by Anschutz Entertainment Group were submitted to Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof last November. Those numbers outlined the fundamental assumptions behind the $391 million project – but failed to persuade the Maloofs that the deal made sense. Even though a Kings executive provided historical input, the Maloofs dismissed AEG's projections. That played a big role in their decision to scrap the deal last Friday, according to the family. Sacramento Bee

As Sacramento city leaders work to construct a Plan B for a new arena, they also said not to count Plan A out. Plan A died when Kings owners the Maloofs told Mayor Kevin Johnson they wouldn't put up collateral for the new building. The Maloofs said it died because the city didn't respond to term sheet negotations. However, Johnson said Thursday that he plans to speak to brothers Joe and Gavin Maloof at the next Kings' home game, which is Friday night. What they'll discuss, if anything, isn't known. "I'm going to go to the game tomorrow night." Johnson said. "I'm assuming Joe and Gavin will be there, so we'll get a chance to visit for a few minutes, if they are there on Friday." news10.net

April 19, 2012 Updates

The Maloofs continued their outreach efforts to the community Wednesday, this time targeting the Sacramento business owners who called for new ownership of the Kings. Spokesman Chris Clark said co-owner Gavin Maloof spent the day talking to suite holders at Power Balance Pavilion as well as the two dozen business owners who asked the NBA last week to install new ownership of the team. Clark said "the large majority (of the calls) are going very well." The business owners, in a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern on April 12, said "it is time for the Maloofs to sell their ownership of the franchise." Sacramento Bee

April 16, 2012 Updates

Meanwhile, the Maloofs, who initially claimed that a $3.25 million redevelopment fee was the main holdup of the deal, have likely lost more than that in team sponsorships and future attendance by way of this public relations disaster. Because so many businesses agreed to one-year deals last season as a result of the one-year reprieve, sources close to the team say there are more than 50 partners up for renewal for next season and there's simply not much incentive to invest in the future. And while the Power Balance Pavilion crowd at Sunday night's game against the Trail Blazers was surprising in its size (16,012) and serenity -- not to mention the appearance of Joe and Gavin Maloof, who watched the game from their suite but scrapped a plan to sit courtside and perhaps even address the crowd -- it's hard to imagine the support continuing without the return of hope here. SI.com

March 7, 2012 Updates

The lengthy and sometimes-futile effort by the Kings, the NBA and local leaders to build a new arena and keep the team in town cleared its final major hurdle Tuesday night as the City Council voted 7-2 to approve the term sheet on a $391-million building scheduled to open in September 2015. The decision, with approximately 250 fans and Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof and point guard Isaiah Thomas in attendance, effectively ends the 2011 bid by Anaheim to lure the team to Southern California and recent hopes in Seattle that renewed plans for an arena there could lead to a replacement for the SuperSonics. Anaheim’s pursuit the second half of last season had been so close to completion that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson sounded resigned to defeat in March and the final home game of the regular season felt more like a wake as thousands from the passionate fan base stayed in Power Balance Pavilion long after the final buzzer. NBA.com

Nearly 11 months later, the greatest comeback in NBA history is virtually complete. The council vote, while non-binding until an environmental report is finalized, clears the way for the city to move forward on several key fronts and essentially ends any serious threat of the Kings moving. The project to build the 18,500-seat arena downtown, a few miles south of the current location, is scheduled to begin within 30 days. “A year ago,” Johnson said near the end of the debate and vote that lasted nearly four hours, “this was the longest of long shots.” NBA.com

“Tonight’s vote was an important next step in the process to construct a new entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento,” the Maloofs said in a statement released moments after the vote. “On behalf of our entire family and the Kings organization, we want to thank everyone who helped move this forward, especially the NBA, City Council, Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Think Big Sacramento Committee [formed to help get an arena deal], and most importantly, our dedicated employess and loyal fans. We’re all excited.” NBA.com

This isn't a half-court shot for Kevin Johnson, the former NBA player turned Sacramento mayor who's running point in his city's attempt to save its Kings. It's one of those shots from the old McDonald's commercials featuring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird: "Off the expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the window, off the wall, nothing but net." Johnson's full-court heave hasn't found net just yet, but it's becoming quite clear that the city of Anaheim should hold off on that first bite into the celebratory Big Mac. While the outcome is far from certain here, there are strong indications that the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, is facing enough opposition to the move to force it back to Sacramento. The Maloofs have already been pushed into two overtimes, as the original April 18 deadline to file for relocation was extended twice and now sits at May 2. SI.com

On the other bench, sources say the Anaheim presentation given at the meetings was as ineffective as Johnson's was impactful, and there is serious doubt as to whether there will be enough support to warrant the Maloofs filing for relocation (a majority vote is needed to approve a move when a team files). Specifically, a source with knowledge of the proposal revealed that the television rights riches that had long been seen as a major motivating factor for the Maloofs aren't quite as lucrative as they had hoped. And while it had been assumed they would attempt to fill the programming void left by the Lakers at Fox Sports West due to their recent megadeal with Time Warner that starts in 2012, two sources said that is not the case. SI.com

There were internal signs that the league is taking Sacramento seriously this week. Two sources said an NBA representative called on Monday to advise the Kings' business team to prepare the season-ticket packages and corporate sponsorship plans that had been on hold since rumors of the move were legitimized in February. Team employees had been in a holding pattern for months, but they were told to be ready to deliver the goods to their customers in the coming weeks should a happy ending be on the horizon. There was similar movement in other areas of the organization, with the notion of a Kings return suddenly seeming somewhere between possible and probable. SI.com

March 4, 2012 Updates

According to K.J., Stern remained skeptical. He wanted hard numbers from the business community. He sent an entire marketing team to bolster a Kings sales department depleted by defections. He monitored Sacramento's pulse to gauge if the Maloofs had a chance at a comeback, if any proposal had a prayer. "We have always trusted Stern," Gavin Maloof said, "and he wanted to get this done, and he knew we wanted to get this done. And I'll tell you (laugh), when you're in the room with him, you always know who's in charge." Sacramento Bee

February 27, 2012 Updates

Despite the talks going for more than seven hours Sunday, the Maloofs appeared a bit relieved. Even George cracked a smile when I asked them if they were on a “brothers’ walk.” Mayor Johnson believed forward progress had been made inside the conference rooms at the Waldorf Astoria. “I am excited where we are,” he said. “It is a very productive day for Sacramento. We have taken one step closer.” Johnson said the city and the Maloofs are in problem-solving mode, but declined to further expand on what continues to prevent a deal from being struck. “We do not want to get in that. It would not be healthy for any of us to negotiate in the public.” Cowbell Kingdom

Not long after Stern spoke, a surreal scene unfolded as the Maloof brothers -- from oldest brother Joe to the younger Gavin and George -- were followed into a gift shop and eventually relented for a short chat with media. But while Joe and Gavin took it all in stride, smiling for the cameras and promising to talk later, a glum-looking George floated by himself on the outside of the chaos. As the two sides attempt to resolve the portion of the $387 million pie that would be paid for by the Maloofs, a source close to the negotiations said it is abundantly clear that George remains an obstacle to a possible deal. After Johnson told reporters that both he and the Maloofs agreed that the "city has done its part" in this equation, George told SI.com that he didn't agree. "I'm not convinced yet," George said when told of Johnson's comment. "I'm not 100 percent convinced. I think they're trying. We just got their deal today. "It's a lot of different things [being discussed], a lot of different areas. You know, we just got it Sunday, so we're still trying to figure it out." SI.com

Long before the talks broke up about 10 p.m. EST Sunday, set to reconvene this morning, two developments suggested all the participants are aggressively, emotionally and intensely engaged in the arena negotiations with Thursday's deadline looming. 1) NBA Commissioner David Stern, who left the hotel where the talks were being held to attend the All-Star Game at Amway Center, planned to rejoin the session into the wee hours, if necessary. 2) Joe, Gavin and George Maloof went hours without a meal. Stern's affinity for the Kings and Sacramento have been obvious for years. He likes the community, is protective of the market and has been expending tremendous energy and time to facilitate a deal. Sacramento Bee

George had hoped for a short afternoon session and a flight back home to Las Vegas. Instead, he sat with his brothers through roughly seven hours of formal discussions, preceded by two to three hours of meetings with Kings officials, and is coming back for more. "We're encouraged," Stern said late Sunday night. "My guys (the Maloofs) think Sacramento wants them to stay and they want to be there. We're trying to find a way to make that happen. Everybody worked really hard today, and we're meeting again in the morning. That's a good thing." Sacramento Bee

That railyard project is a two-way street. Sac wants them. Do they want Sac? "Yes, yes, absolutely," Joe told a television reporter. "We've been here 14 years. We love Sacramento. We really want this to work." And on and on it went. Sightings for bathroom breaks. The commissioner leaving for the game – contrary to rumors, not in a helicopter – and checking text updates from Litvin during timeouts. Johnson canceling his 6 a.m. flight today. The Maloofs booking another night of hotel rooms and taking a long, private stroll around the massive pool area before driving to dinner. "We're trying, we're trying," Joe said. "But I can't say anything … " Sacramento Bee

February 14, 2012 Updates

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