That's the question isn't it? I mean, really, how hard is this to understand? What is the Maloofs goal in all of this? To make more money. We know that much. We know that the first goal of the family is to be in Anaheim. So, where is all this at now? Where it's at pretty much.
I've been sitting this out for awhile now but I'll offer a short glimpse of what I see is the general issue now. It's about...wait for it....money. Shocking isn't it?
Why now? Why have the Maloofs flip flopped so much? My feeling is they've been denied for a loan they were so sure in late February (and few others suspected they couldn't come up with) and now we are getting the antics by the Family to screw the city of Sacramento along with the NBA. Give the Maloof family this: What they lack in brains they make up in balls. The problem, this game isn't about having the biggest swinging dick in town. The Maloofs, George especially, do not seem to understand that.
From Dale Kasler of the Bee:
Speaking to the Bee Monday, team co-owner George Maloof said his goal in New York is to put the project "right back on track and start negotiating this thing again."
(George) said he expects a sympathetic hearing.
"I think the owners have a lot of respect for us, they always have, as we have for them," (George) said.
Alrighty then George. The owners care about their finances of their teams, and for a numerous amount of teams (probably half) that means revenue sharing. Killing the Lakers TV deal is not a way to enhance revenue sharing. Hopefully you get where this is going. I couldn't draw a clearer picture with crayons and an etch an sketch if I wanted to.
David Stern made an interesting quote that Kasler quoted in his piece that doesn't mention the Maloofs once (something I find rather interesting--and admittedly I'm not sure what it quite means):
"I think the owners … have an enormous respect for what Sacramento has done over the years in supporting an NBA franchise," Stern said. "And it's always been our first preference – particularly when government agencies or states are helpful – to keep a team where a team is if they're playing in a good facility."
Where are the Maloofs named in that statement? That's about the fanbase, the city itself, and the NBA's preference. Contrast this statement Stern made in Nov 2007 about the Sonics and Seattle:
"I'd love to find a way to keep the team there," Stern said at a news conference in Phoenix. "Because if the team moves, there's not going to be another team there, not in any conceivable future plan that I could envision, and that would be too bad."
The tone between both statements is rather stark isn't it? One is saying we respect that the City Council came up with a feasible and working plan to keep a team in the current location. The other is saying we like Seattle but not without a modern building and amenties to our current standards. Seattle was not always given a fair shake, but Seattle also had a lot of burnout over public subsidy over buildings after the Mariners/Seahawks got new homes using largely public dollars. A complicated issue with complications on every side left Bennett wanting what he always wanted (which I do understand and have no issue with): A franchise in Oklahoma City. The problem was never wanting a NBA team in OKC; the problem was taking the franchise in Seattle (a fairly successful franchise at that) and moving it.
So the question is now: Does the NBA want the Maloofs gone? Answer: You bet your ass the NBA wants the Maloofs gone.
Better question: Why go through the charade of saying you want the Maloofs to stay if you are David Stern and Kevin Johnson (not to mention the remaining part of the City Council)? Simple: You don't need to push people out who will hang themselves. I wasn't sure if the Maloofs would come up with a loan (I would have had 70-30 odds against the Maloofs securing a loan--but that 30% is nothing to sneeze at), and I wasn't sure what kind of collateral the Family would use to back that loan.
I know one thing's clear: The Maloofs won't use their personal fortune (and yes they have one) to back their debt. They don't want to sell their Kings because their ego needs owning a basketball team to feel, oh I don't know, special? The Maloofs aren't broke by common man standards; the Maloofs are broke by NBA owner standards.
So I guess it comes back to what likelihood the Kings leave before next season? I would suspect none. But that's what Friday is for. I'm also old enough to know that sometimes
On a side note, I'm a bit flummoxed with school these days and, previously, vacation. I'll try to get back on track and sooner or later I'll manage it. Again, sorry. If you wish to read a more elongated viewpoint dragging out the last week and half, read this piece I just put up at TPBT.