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Kevin Johnson calls out Maloofs in letter: Honor our 'handshake' arena deal

By Ben Golliver | Blogger
Kevin Johnson is trying to make sure the Kings stay in Sacramento. (Getty Images)

Honor your word.

That's the message Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson delivered to the Maloofs, owners of the Kings, in an open letter on Thursday.

Johnson, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported Thursday, is headed to New York City to attend NBA Board of Governors meetings, where the Kings arena plan will be discussed.

Back in February, the NBA, the Maloofs and the city of Sacramento agreed to a framework of a new arena proposal that would keep the Kings in Sacramento. There have been snags recently, though, including the Maloofs balking at some fees they were being asked to pay.

In his letter, obtained by KXTV on Thursday, Johnson directly calls on the Maloofs to honor the agreement.
First, all parties agreed to a deal in Orlando on February 27th, codified in the term sheet subsequently approved by our City Council.
...
Any representation that a deal was not reached is simply not consistent with the perspective of every other party to the negotiation nor the actual statements of the family.
...
The best - and only - way to demonstrate that commitment is to honor the "fair deal" as all other parties have done. Your handshake is your handshake. Your promise is your promise.
It's unclear how the Maloofs will respond to the public heat but they reportedly accepted a loan from the NBA in March to help pay their share of the arena's pre-development costs. That can't be a good sign.

The takeaway here is that a handshake deal is only as good as the width of the billfold in the pockets of the respective handshakers. A man's word is worth a lot but his wallet will always be more valuable when it comes to financing a nine-figure sports stadium.

Hat tip: SacTownRoyalty.com.
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