Posted May 15, 2013

Kings’ George Maloof enters closet to avoid reporters after NBA votes down Seattle?

Ben Golliver, Chris Hansen, David Stern, George Maloof, Kevin Johnson, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics, Steve Ballmer, Vivek Ranadive
(@SacTownRoyalty)

Kings co-owner George Maloof addresses reporters from outside a bell stand closet. (@SacTownRoyalty)

Did Kings co-owner George Maloof take cover from reporters in a Dallas Marriott’s bell stand closet after NBA commissioner David Stern announced Wednesday that the league’s Board of Governors had voted down a plan to move Sacramento’s basketball team to Seattle?

Kevin Fippin of Kings blog SacTownRoyalty.com reported that Maloof briefly entered the closet to avoid a crush of cameras. He later exited the closet and addressed reporters.

“Media just chased George Maloof into the Bell Stand closet!!! UNREAL!!,” Fippin reported in a series of Twitter posts that included a photograph of the media scrum converging on the closet, which is adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance. “He is in a closet guys!!! … George opened the door for a second and closed when he saw this! … Guys, I don’t make up who gets chased across a hotel lobby into a bell check closet. I’m not that awesome!”

Update: USA Today Sports painted a less sensational version of events: “He stepped in to get his bag and stepped out and kept talking.”

Either way, what a perfectly ridiculous flourish to conclude a months-long circus. Of all places.

National media members and reporters from both Seattle and Sacramento converged on the Dallas hotel after previous Board of Governors meetings in New York City did not produce a resolution to the future of the Kings. Fans of both the SuperSonics and Kings waited for the results of the vote in the hotel’s lobby, as captured in this photograph by @NickMonacelli.

@NickMonacelli

Sonics fans and Kings fans camped out in a hotel to await news of the franchise’s fate. @NickMonacelli

The NBA’s Board of Governors voted 22-8 to block a Seattle-area investment group’s bid to relocate the Kings. With that result in hand, Stern told reporters Wednesday that the league would proceed with efforts to negotiate a sale that would transfer the Kings from the Maloof family to a California-based group formed by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and led by TIBCO chairman Vivek Ranadive.

Stern expressed optimism Wednesday that a deal could be reached between the Maloofs and Ranadive, saying that the process could take a day or two.

“I anticipate that they will come to be open [to a deal] and I plan to visit with them and close, hopefully, on that anticipation,” he said. “The Maloofs have the right to retain ownership of the franchise. … It’s my expectation that we will be able to make a deal… to transfer the title of the team in Sacramento.”

Maloof, who had previously indicated multiple times that he wanted his sale agreement with Seattle’s Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to be approved by the league, took questions about the state of his franchise once he emerged from the closet.

“If it had to turn out this way, it’s fine with us,” he said, according to NBA.com. “But my loyalty’s to Chris because he stepped up. … [Johnson] did a great job. He put a great team together. We’ll see what happens. It’s not over.”

This post has been updated.

19 comments
DirtyPantiesLover1
DirtyPantiesLover1

nba tickets are so expensive. why would you be a fan of a team that charges so much for its tickets? also, both of these teams are sore losers, literally. they suck. makes no sense.

Psychedelic.Bella
Psychedelic.Bella

I've heard that the Kings lose money in Sacremento, so why would Seattle want a losing team? Not to mention that the Kings were going to bought for so many more millions than what they're worth. I think if people in Seattle can offord that kind of money, along with a brand new arena, that should somehow put together their own NBA team for the Super Sonics. What were the Kings going for? 56 million dollars when I heard they were worth was under 20 millions? Nah, I think Seattle can a better deal with a better team.

TonyESeg
TonyESeg

The Maloofs are not going to open up with any deals with Sacramento (as what Stern predicted)- the Maloofs may appear bad people to Sacramento because of some past issues between them, and the feeling is mutual!  The Maloofs are normal and down to earth  people- they just don't appreciate the way Sacramento has  dealt with them, and they want to get even any way they can!  I think George meant it when he said his loyalty is with Hansen, that's trouble for Sacramento.  Besides, the arena deal in Sacramento is not gonna pan out- it's full of holes!

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

yeah again this had everything to do with hansen and balemr paying money out of there own pocket plain and simple and the people of milwuakke and minnesota are the next two cities that are going to be blackmailed into giving them a publicly funded arena.  Also remember that what the taxpayers of saettle had gone through in the past decade refurbishing key arena, and also providing money for both a new nfl stadium and mlb stadium.  So they had to pay a lot of money over the last decade and now your asking them for a new arena

6marK6
6marK6

Just sell the team to Starbucks owner, he will lie and say that they will stay in Sacramento and then sell them to somebody that plans on moving them.

rmlbsa
rmlbsa

So another NBA personality will go out of the closet..right?  Y'all see what I did there?

baucumjoseph
baucumjoseph

Anyone in the media going to clear this up?  How can the NBA ok the Sonics moving to OKC, because the fans refused to pay for a new arena, but then block the same type of deal with Sacramento to Seattle?  Once again, the NBA does a fantastic job of looking like a shady business.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The media disgraces itself on a regular basis. If they think there is anything profession in chasing someone into a closet they are mistaken. This is a sports story for Lords sake. Leave the guy alone until he's ready to talk.No honor. None at all. 

MartinOlague
MartinOlague

@CobyPreimesberger The 'Wolves did get their public money. It was part of the Vikings stadium bill, which also puts money into the Target Center. 

Merv
Merv

@CobyPreimesberger  There is no leverage for Milwaukee and Minnesota to blackmail their respective cities for a Publicly Funded arenas.  For that to be true the threat of relocation would need to be realistic and it no longer is.


patrick330i
patrick330i

@mjwilcox12 @baucumjoseph Exactly.  I don't understand how people in Seattle don't understand this.  When Schultz still owned the Sonics, both Seattle, King County and Olympia told Schultz and Stern to go fly a kite.  They would provide ZERO public financing/funding for an arena.  The voters of King Co. then codified that into law with a ballot initiative.  When Schultz was selling the team, no longer owners stood up to buy it.  You know why?  Because no one locally saw value in that deal where local and state governments would do nothing to help fund a new arena.  That opened the door for a carpet-bagger, which happened to be the looting Okies who had tried to lift the Hornets out of New Orleans after a natural disaster - and FAILED.  So Seattle self-inflicted this wound.  Sacramento might have done the same at some point, but they apparently realized the value of keeping their one and only major league team as it is doubtful they will ever get another one and would probably never be able to replace their NBA team.  Not rocket science if you have been following this.

mjwilcox12
mjwilcox12

@baucumjoseph When Seattle lost the Sonics they refused to put any public money in a new arena. Sacramento had a deal in place with the Maloofs for $258M in public money for a new arena. Not the same type of deal at all.

patrick330i
patrick330i

@Rickapolis That's true, but don't think that the Maloofs have any honor as they do not.  Trying to sell to Seattle without giving the locals a chance to buy first tells you everything you need to know about them.  Still don't believe me, look at their actions before and after the sale.  It's called SPITE and that spite was directed to a whole bunch of people and entire city.  I have no sympathy for them at all.

Merv
Merv

@patrick330i @mjwilcox12 @baucumjoseph Key Arena was remodeled twice at 100% taxpayers expense.  The last time, was still being paid for.  Bennett asking for a 500 million dollar arena, again at 100% taxpayers expense, in a city 1 hour away from downtown Seattle was the straw that broke the back of fed up taxpayers.

dbq
dbq

@patrick330i @mjwilcox12 @baucumjoseph 

Actually, the city/county/state refused to do it because they had just completted a complete remodel of Key Arena just a few years previous. This was just the NBA holding a city hostage, and a city finally saying enough is enough.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@patrick330i @Rickapolis Good argument, Patrick. You'r certainly right about him, but I get so annoyed at the excess of the media that I had to comment....

WilliamMalaier
WilliamMalaier

@patrick330i @Rickapolis This decision was all about the NBA not wanting to set a precedent of owners buying/building arenas.  Doing so would have neutered their decades-old business model of using the threat of relocation to extort local communities to build palatial arenas for billionaires (with the owners keeping all stadium revenue, of course!).  Hansen's deal was basically calling the NBA's bluff--he was going to foot every dime of construction, PLUS overpaying for the team by 50%.  The NBA blinked.  To say that this had anything to do with the people of Seattle is ridiculous--if anything, they should be applauded for standing up to the extortion of the NBA.  As a Seattlite, I feel bad for the folks in Sacramento who are going to drop a $300,000,000.00+ gift on a billionaire.