|The Maloofs want the NBA Board of Governors to throw them a bone against the city's proposed deal. (Getty Images)|
Owners get a new building, arena giant AEG makes some money with a new building, the city keeps its team, Mayor Kevin Johnson gets a win, the fans don't lose their souls, the league saves some face, everyone walks away happy.
Well, turns out the Maloofs aren't as happy as they indicated. And they want to go back to the drawing board. They want to renegotiate the deal. Because, you know, the city pitching in $255 million to their $73 millon isn't really enough, given the kind of controls the Kings have to give up for an arena they're not paying for the majority of. That makes sense.
Thing is, the city's done. It asked its city council to vote for the measure they negotiated, and got it approved. They're done. David Stern? He's done. They helped out with some auxilliary funding and getting the deal worked. There's nowhere else for this to go. So the Maloofs are doing the responsible, reasonable thing.
They're running to their fellow owners for help, at the Board of Governors meeting this week in New York. From the Sacramento Bee:
Sacramento's arena drama switches this week to Manhattan, where the Maloof family will ask their fellow NBA owners for support in forcing the city to negotiate a better deal with the team.
The Kings owners say they will bank on respect and understanding from the league's board of governors when they make their pitch behind the gilded doors of the St. Regis Hotel in midtown. They are likely to face opposition from David Stern, the NBA commissioner, who has a close relationship with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and was instrumental six weeks ago in crafting the deal the Maloofs are questioning.
via Sacramento arena battle travels to N.Y. - Arena Issue - The Sacramento Bee.
Funny thing about that respect thing.
The NBA owners tend to look out for one another. After all, if there's some sort of unpopular or shady position being brought to the group, each one knows that next time, it may be them with the shadiness. It's really rare that the owners don't support one another out of a shared goal of everyone having the most money and power they can have.
So what does it say that the owners rebuffed the Kings last year? The owners sent the Maloofs packing after they gave what was reportedly a disorganized and unimpressive presentation on moving the team to Anaheim, as opposed to Mayor Johnson's well-organized pitch. They clearly didn't expect the owners to go against them. And yet they did.
The owners that are going to be in that room this week are powerful men. And many of them have been owners in this league a long time. As a result, they know what owners are going to be around and which aren't. They're going to protect themselves by taking care of one another, but not if the person asking may not be around in five years, three years, two years.
Maybe this time the owners will back the Maloofs. But they'd be going against Stern who tends to win these fights, and against their own impulses last year in wanting to keep the team in Sacramento.
The squabbles listed in the report from the Bee are trivial. The real question here has nothing to do with the Board. The question is what's it going to take for the Maloofs to finally quit trying to stab Sacramento in the back?