Monday, March 28, 2011

Why the Maloofs are now to blame for the hateful, bitter divorce

And now begins the hateful divorce.

It's getting ugly, sports fans.  This is gonna end up worse than discovering Snooki at the opposite side of the table on a blind date.

On Monday afternoon, the city of Sacramento sent an email to the city of Anaheim.  It was a last-ditch attempt to make sure the Kings didn't leave town without paying off their $77 million loan.

The Maloof boys got all angry when they read the letter.

But here's the bottom line: At this point, the Brothers Grim have nobody to blame but themselves.

They could have done this with skill and class.  They could have been upfront.  They could have made known their intention to make good on the loan to the city, whatever happened.

But no.

They were going to skulk out of town in a haze of confusing and bitter fog.  And maybe, just maybe, they were going to leave Sacramento holding the bag.

Not a single news conference or interview to explain why Anaheim was the right destination for their franchise.  Not a single word about how they were ready to stand tall and honor all their loan obligations.

Nope.   Nothing.

And then, Joe Maloof finally decided to weigh in with Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register on Monday night.  He sounded like a wiseguy from Jersey.

"You better be careful," he said.  "Don't mess around and interfere with our business."

What's he going to do?  Shoot Mayor Johnson with a t-shirt cannon?

The so-called masters of customer service have moved on to a new fan base.  And they are treating the old fans like garbage.  Not with honesty and respect.  But with subterfuge.

The Maloofs are broke.  Financially and spiritually.

They pillaged the franchise for the last five years, saving every ounce of cash while watching the team go down in flames.

They watched the arena empty, while begging pity about not getting a brand new building.

Gavin and Joe Maloof are middle-aged dweebs who got in over their head.

And now they're running.

It's a sad sight.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Anti-Maloof Rally Planned: "Lockout Love-In" To Draw Thousands

In a complete change of direction, fans are now organizing a unique rally to send a message to the NBA and to the owners of the Sacramento Kings.

The event, titled "Lockout Love-In to Screw the Maloofs," is a demonstration to show David Stern and the league that Sacramento fully supports a lockout next season.

More than 10,000 fans are expected to show up on the front lawn of Gavin Maloof's palatial Natomas home in order to voice their desire to see a lockout.

"If we can't have basketball here next year," said one fan, "we sure as hell don't want there to be basketball in Anaheim.  This is a very constructive and emotionally satisfying way of saying 'suck it, Maloofs.' ''

With all signs pointing to a move to Anaheim, Kings fans are coming together in hopes of seeing the Maloof brothers sitting in an idle Honda Center next season.

"Sure, it's sour grapes," said another irate fan.  "But look, they dismantled our team for the last five years, cut payroll to the bone, and expected us to keep paying our hard-earned money to watch guys like Luther Head. Plus, they wanted us to finance a new arena so they could get more luxury boxes.  Luxury boxes?  When the hell was I gonna sit in a luxury box? I can barely afford one of their freakin' Royal Shawarma plates."

Many of the potential "Love-In" organizers believe the Maloofs have been planning this move for years and wanted to drain the energy from the Sacramento faithful to make their move look less distasteful.

"Yeah, Arco is no prize," said another fan, "but we would have filled the joint if they had kept a winning product out there.  And they have never been active in the efforts to build an arena.  They always just sat back and said almost nothing."

A lockout would put the Maloofs in a precarious financial situation.  Their business empire is already crumbling and the move to Anaheim is widely perceived as an effort to bolster their bottom line.

Organizers are asking fans to bring locks of every size and shape.  "Bring a padlock or a bicycle lock and scream like a maniac," said the event's organizer, a well-known radio personality who wants to remain anonymous.  "Our fondest hope is that the NBA labor strife wipes out next season and maybe more. We're bitter. And we want to show it."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rewind: My strategy for the Maloofs from six months ago that might have saved the Kings

Okay, time to look back at a post from six months ago that proves that Kings Talking Points should have handled the arena negotiations.

I've been amazed at the panic and hair-on-fire reactions from city officials in the past week.  Could they have been that naive?  I say YES.  They just didn't get it.

Which is why the post below outlined my strategy for the Maloofs back in September.  Basically, I wanted to set off the panic early so at least the city had a shot in hell of responding in time.

The Maloofs just don't listen to me, but take a read:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Joe Maloof's Deleted Tweets Tell What the Family is Really Thinking

Kings Talking Points has learned that some tweets were deleted from Joe Maloof's account over the past week just moments after they were posted.

Thanks to some nifty computer razzle-dazzle, we were able to recover the tweets and post them here for your entertainment:

@grantnapear Thanks for all your support. You will always be our guy. P.S. You do a great job as our towel boy at the Palms, as well. #supershill

@KJ_MayorJohnson Ooops, couldn't call. Hard to get could cell reception in Orange County. #sucker

Here We Stay was a great success. Sorry about the throwback Royals jerseys. However, they are on sale in Kings store. Just $49.95. #soakingfansalways

@boogiecousins See, I was smart when I told you not to buy a house here when we drafted you. #seeyouinanaheim

Power Balance Pavillon just rolls off the tongue. Killer deal for franchise. I make Mark Cuban look like a pussy. #geniusmogul

Anybody want to buy some huge letters? Just taken down from familiar public building. Four available. All in good condition. #myfamilyisbroke

@KJ_MayorJohnson About that $70 million we owe you, Sacramento. I'm thinking government bailout. Who's with me? #obamaissmarterthanKJ

@ronwenig Sure, Gavin and I could have spent money the last five years and kept us a winner, but Sac loves rooting for a lowly underdog. It was a strategy. #lutherheadrules

Just found those financial documents they've been wanting.  Were under my desk next to old hot dog wrapper and Doug Christie bobblehead.  Should I send them over?  Ah, screw it. . #nevergonnahappen

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hey Grant Napear, get a clue and stop sucking up to the Maloofs

Grant Napear spent Tuesday afternoon ranting and raving about how the Sacramento Bee had so maligned the poor little Maloof boys over the past decade that now they were taking their balls and leaving town.

Any opposing viewpoint was shouted down with the lunacy of a fifth-grader throwing a tantrum.

Give me a break.

Napear is a shill.  Plain and simple.  He is not an honest broker.  He is not a journalist.  Accepting his word on the Kings' situation is akin to accepting Bernie Madoff's word on a hot investment.

He is paid by the Kings.  He is their employee.  If he bad mouthes his bosses, he gets the boot.  If he sucks up, he gets a pat on his little red head and gets to play TV boy for another year.

The Bee's coverage had no effect on the decision making of the Maloofs.

Full disclosure:  I worked at the Bee for almost 20 years in the sports department, but I'm not a Bee apologist.  In fact, anyone who worked with me will tell you that I had plenty of complaints about the way the newspaper was run.  I'm good at complaining.  Some say I'm an expert.  (note to my former executive editor and managing editor:  It's called creativity and innovation.  You promote it, you don't quash it.  You guys were so far behind the curve, you couldn't even see the curve.)

But to say the arena cause was beaten down by the Bee is just plain stupid.

The Bee columnists have been strong proponents of a new arena.  Ailene Voisin and Marcos Breton have written tirelessly in support of a new building.

When the Kings were riding high, the Bee was a publicity machine for the team, pumping out special sections, posters and signs to hold up at the arena.

Yes, the newspaper has done a few stories that didn't show the Maloofs in a very flattering light, most recently a piece that quoted numerous sources in regards to the brothers' penchant for outlandish negotiating.

But sorry, folks, it's called reporting.  The Maloofs don't get a free ride.

And, besides, there's plenty of blame for this failure all around.

I personally believe an awful economy and a growing distaste for increased government spending are the two biggest reasons a new arena deal hasn't gotten done.

In addition, I believe the fixation on a downtown location was misguided.   Natomas was fine.  All the infrastructure is already there.  The cost of building a new arena in the current location would have been far cheaper and a whole lot easier to get done.  Keeping the Kings -- not revitalizing the railyards -- should have been the focus.  A downtown arena was an intricate pipe dream with far too many moving pieces.

But let's face it, there just isn't that much free private money in this town.   We don't have any spare billionaires ready to parachute in as an angel investor.

So now the Kings are most likely gone.

And we get back to the bombastic blowhard known as Grant Napear.

Stop the act, Grant.  Yes, we know the Maloofs give plenty to charity.  We know they are really nice guys.  But we don't need your phony objective views when you're clearly on the payroll.

Furthermore, we don't need your doomsday prophecies.

"If we lose the Kings," he proclaimed with searing intensity.  "You'll never see an NBA team here for the rest of your lifetime."

As if that was a punishment from God for our sins.

It's probably true.  But what does that mean?

We'll still lead our lives.  We'll still struggle to keep our jobs.  We'll still proudly raise our families. And we'll still enjoy our free time -- maybe in different ways.

Napear is a boob.  A flame-throwing flunky without an ounce of nuance.

If he moves to Anaheim, we may never see another one like him for the rest of our lifetimes.

We can only hope.

P.S. Invite me on for a debate, Grant.   Maybe I'll be able to make a point in between your tireless rants.