Monday, April 29, 2013

Time for Kings fans to start dreaming again

Time to take a deep breath, Kings fans.

Your long national nightmare is finally over.  The city won.  The carpetbaggers lost.  And now you can clear your head and start dreaming.

You can dream about an ownership that aspires to NBA titles and not to bargain-basement personnel moves.

You can dream about a team that will be able to compete in the free-agent market.

You can dream about an arena in the center of a vibrant city center, a place where you'll want to go long before a game and stay long after.

You can dream about player stats instead of binding sale agreements.

You can dream about Travis Outlaw (okay, maybe that's going too far).  But you can dream about DeMarcus Cousins being coached by a top-notch thinker and motivator.

You can dream about a city that thinks big and takes risks because that's what world-class cities do, despite the knee-jerk blowback of doomsayers.  Yes, folks, the city will be a better place for having pro basketball and a new arena. 

Sleep well, Kings fans.  Because even though the big, bad Maloofs may want to cause more trouble before they exit stage left, the future finally has a clear and wonderful path.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Maloof letter to NBA: The Portions You Didn't See

We were slipped a copy of the alleged original letter from George Maloof to the NBA.  Here are some of the juicier, redacted portions of the letter:

"The offer from the Sacramento group was, plain and simple, just paltry. Chicken feed. Play money.  In fact, we're not sure this Vivek guy is even real. Does he have a checking account?  We've never seen proper I.D."

"I ran the Palms in Vegas. Maybe you've heard of it.  It was the hottest place in town.  I know all about good deals. And this deal from this so- called group of whales is not good.  And please, don't tell me I ran the Palms into the ground. That is all speculation and rumors being spread by a dubious clandestine Sacramento organization"

"We tried to make it work in Sacramento.  We did what every red-blooded NBA owner in the league would do ... We tried to bleed every last cent of public money from the city in exchange for the right to take every penny of profit from a new arena, parking and naming rights."

"Mr. Stern, sometimes I get the feeling you think we are amateurs in the world of business. You treat us like we are little boys running a lemonade stand. Well, I tell you this: You are a stinky face."

"We really respect the fans of Sacramento. We would never want to treat them badly. But c'mon, Seattle!  Coffee. Alt bands. Guys with very heavy wallets. How could we not choose them?"

"Mayor Kevin Johnson hasn't been that fair with us.  I think he's upset that we don't kiss his feet and call him King KJ.  But look, we don't want to be responsible for the homeless of Sacramento going hungry. Or for half the elementary schools to close.  Or for criminals to take to the streets.  That's why don't want to take the Sacramento deal. We're doing it for the citizens. God bless them."

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Maloofs: How to destroy a franchise and get filthy rich

For all we know, the Maloof family might be sweetest, most kind group of folks in the world.

For all we know, the Maloof family might be the most greedy, despicable bunch of dillettants since the Kardashians.

But for the people of Sacramento, all we can see right now is an ending that rewards the family with untold riches after it dismantled a franchise and left a legacy of ill will.

The Kings have been operated on yarn and chewing gum for way too long.   For the past three years, the Maloofs have flirted like drunk tramps with virtually every city in America.  The deals came and went and their secret maneuvers poked like a sharp stick at the psyche of Kings fans.

Now, with murmurs of a bidding war between Sacramento and Seattle, the Maloofs stand to walk away from this deal with more than $400 million in their pockets.  That's enough to start another skateboarding vodka company with plenty left over to fund the bachelor brothers and their antics for years to come.

It just doesn't seem fair.

Unfortunately, it's capitalism at its most raw and unvarnished.

If you like Bain Capital and its strip mining of American companies, you're gonna love this very unhappy ending.

Even if Sacramento wrenches the Kings back from the precipice, the Maloofs still win.

And they win big.

The Maloof family legacy is going to be hard to forget.

Best to start trying right now.