Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof attended Sunday's home game, entering Power Balance Pavilion with scores of fans and then high-fiving each other as their beleaguered club snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 104-103 victory over Portland.
Just showing up was a bold and gutsy move, as the Maloof name isn't celebrated these days like in years past, given the weekend turn of events in which the family walked away from a proposed $387 million arena deal that had been agreed upon in principal.
The Maloofs sat in their suite and not in their normal courtside seats, no doubt in fear of retaliation. Brother George Maloof, the point-man for the arena discussions, did not attend. He has emerged as Kings' fans Public Enemy No. 1.
In recent days, fans spoke out, vowing to ignore the Kings, and political leaders in Sacramento lashed out at the Maloofs.
"Once again, the Maloofs have turned their back on a deal and shown their contempt for Sacramento," said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).
Also on Saturday, George Maloof said he no longer wants Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson involved in any arena discussions as both sides took shots at each other about who pulled away from the deal and who is telling the truth.
"You can't do a deal with somebody you don't trust," Maloof said of Johnson. "I don't trust him."
Said Johnson: "Sacramento deserves a partner who will honor their commitment, Sacramento deserves a partner who wants to work in good faith, and I think that Sacramento deserves better than we've got to this point."
Both sides agreed Sunday that a cooling-off period was in order before discussing any more arena issues.
Another emotional scene might be in store Wednesday when the Kings host the Spurs.
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