Sale of Kings is final; Maloofs are gone, Ranadive officially takes over

Kevin Johnson and Vivek Ranadive had the last laugh about the Kings.   (USATSI)
Kevin Johnson and Vivek Ranadive had the last laugh about the Kings. (USATSI)

It's finally over. After a saga that stretched almost two years, the Sacramento Kings have been sold to new ownership, an agreement has been reached, the paperwork signed, and the deal done. The Kings have new ownership, and are still in Sacramento. From the news release: 

The Maloof family today announced that the agreement to sell the family’s controlling interest in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Sacramento Kings and ownership of Sleep Train Arena to the Sacramento investor group led Vivek Ranadive has closed escrow and is now final. The transaction valuation equates to a purchase price of over $534 million, an NBA record.

“We respect and would like to acknowledge the NBA Board of Governors’ dedication and diligence in working through this process over the past several months. On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Commissioner David Stern and the NBA staff who worked tirelessly on this transaction. I also would like to praise Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council and staff for their efforts and loyalty to the Sacramento community,” said George Maloof, Kings co-owner speaking on behalf of Maloof family members Colleen, Joe, Gavin, Adrienne, and Phil.

“Our family thanks Bobby Hernreich for his support throughout the years; he has been a great partner. We also thank our other partners, Bud Benvenuti, John Kehriotis, and Dave Lucchetti,” added George Maloof.

“We congratulate Vivek Ranadive and the entire Sacramento investor group for their willingness to come forward and purchase the franchise for the people of Sacramento. We are confident they will provide the stewardship necessary to continue to guide the organization to successful levels,” said George Maloof.

Joe Maloof added, “The success of the Sacramento Kings has been due largely in part to the dedication and enthusiasm of our team members, coaches, players, and fans. Since our family has owned the franchise, the people of Sacramento have warmly brought the Kings into their hearts and for that we will always be grateful. As we look forward to an exciting new chapter in our family business enterprise, we will never forget the people of Sacramento and everything they have done for the Kings organization.”

The Maloof family’s 14-year tenure as majority owners of the Kings organization (family was a limited partner as well in 1998-99) is the longest in the franchise’s 65-year history. On the court, the team enjoyed its most successful Sacramento-era years under the family’s guidance, producing seven playoff-qualifying seasons, including back-to-back Pacific Division titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03 and advancement to the Western Conference Finals in 2002. During those 14 seasons, the Kings produced 555 regular season wins, including five consecutive 50-plus win seasons, and 32 post-season victories.

Off the court the franchise was triumphant as well, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Sacramento Valley by awarding and distributing more than $20 million in cash donations and in-kind gifts to charitable causes. The family’s dedication to community service earned Joe and Gavin Maloof the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame’s Most Involved Executives award in 2001. The organization’s benevolence also was recognized with the Pro Team Humanitarian Award in both 2002 and 2004. Additionally, the Kings were voted #1 in the NBA for overall fan experience in 2001 and 2003 in a survey conducted every other year by J.D. Powers and Associates.??

“It is extremely satisfying to know that we have positively impacted the lives of so many people over years,” states Gavin Maloof. “The building of community centers, little league fields, and basketball courts along with the donation of resources to local schools and food and clothing to families in-need and so much more leaves a lasting impression that far outweighs the wins that were experienced on the court,” states Gavin Maloof.

The Maloof family also enjoyed a very successful tenure as owners of the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs. From 1999 to 2009 the Monarchs were a model WNBA franchise, qualifying for the league playoffs nine times, culminated by a pair of Western Conference Championships and the 2005 WNBA title.

If you were to ask, say, the citizens of Sacramento, the mayor's office, local business owners, sponsors, other NBA owners, David Stern, national or local media, essentially anyone who has any working knowledge of the Maloofs, you'd likely get a different perspective than the rosy picture this paints of their time as NBA owners. 

The Maloofs had their day and were considered great small-market owners. That time has passed, along with their ownership, and the NBA needed to part ways. This was a divorce a long time coming. The only saving grace from this debacle is that Sacramento wasn't the cost of the separation. 

It's done. The Maloofs are gone, the team is still in Sacramento, and a new day is dawning for the Kings.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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