A Letter to Joe and Gavin Maloof - Former Owners of the Sacramento Kings

A letter to Joe and Gavin Maloof.
A letter to Joe and Gavin Maloof.
Yes, a City and Man grew up around this building
Yes, a City and Man grew up around this building

Liars

To Joe and Gavin Maloof, former owners of the Sacramento Kings and enemy number 1 of the City of Sacramento, California.

I am nobody. I am just a Kings fan. When the Sacramento Kings moved to Sacramento I was 10 years old. Immediately upon entering the confines of the barn known as Arco Arena I, I was hooked. The excitement of professional basketball was something to see. But more than the game, more than the score, I remember most waiting outside that tiny stadium getting the autographs from the players who were bigger than life. I still have that old napkin with names like Reggie Theus barely legible.

I went to Arco Arena I and Arco Arena II throughout my childhood. I graduated high school in the building. I graduated college in that building. I saw the Rolling Stones in that building. I watched with pride my wife graduating college in that building. Both the City of Sacramento and I grew up around the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are the identity and soul of the community. And you killed it. Yes, you killed it.

You let George squander your fortune, and then sell your soul.
You let George squander your fortune, and then sell your soul.

Weak

When you first purchased the Sacramento Kings, we all believed you intended to move the team to Las Vegas. But you assured us. You said that you loved Sacramento. You said that you were committed to this community and to the fans who supported the Kings in unprecedented fashion. You moved here. You became one of us. And then you killed your own.

We all knew that your brother George wanted nothing to do with Sacramento. We all knew he thought himself some sort of Vegas mafia sort who was to cool to hang with people who actually work for a living. But you said you were different. You said you were in charge. You said that you were committed to the principles of your father about customer service and loyalty. You cried about how you lost an NBA team once and that you would never do it again. But apparently the two of you are weak. You let George win. You let George squander the family fortune by losing the Palms. You sold the beer distributorship to bail George out. Now you are selling to the Kings to a group that will take them away. You sold your souls and you sold us out. You are weak.

Major Kevin Johnson isn't done fighting and neither are the fans.
Major Kevin Johnson isn't done fighting and neither are the fans.
And yes Seattle, you are as bad as Oklahoma City. You got in bed with the Maloofs, that makes you just as bad as them.
And yes Seattle, you are as bad as Oklahoma City. You got in bed with the Maloofs, that makes you just as bad as them.

What Would Your Father Say?

Maloofed: A Verb. To actively deceive and rip off a community that supported you and then gloat about it.

Joe and Gavin, this is what you have done to the family name that your father worked so hard to build. You stood at center court last February and celebrated the arena deal to keep the team in town for decades, and then you were silent when George blew the deal up while insulting this community's businesses and the season ticket holders you now claim to have admiration for. You insisted that the team was not for sale while secretly negotiating with a group that stated its desire was to bring a team to Seattle. You haven't shown your faces. You haven't faced your employees that found out that they may lose their jobs on Twitter and on the News. You have not faced the fans. And you won't. Because you know that this is wrong. You know that that you are no longer welcome. You know that you broke our hearts. While George may not care, I believe you do. And somewhere deep down where the money doesn't make things feel better, you feel bad. And you will have to live with that. When the money is gone, most likely lost by George, all you will have is the hatred of a people and the guilt of what could have been. You could have been heroes. Instead, you are an example of greed. You will no longer be able to look Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Mitch Richmond and the other great Kings in the face because you took away the home where their jerseys hang.

Mayor Kevin Johnson is not done fighting. We, the fans, the nameless faces you took cash from for years are not done fighting. And this isn't over, not by a long shot. But no matter what you are done here. You are no longer welcome. You are no longer welcome because, it turns out, you are not one of us. You do not understand that this is more than a basketball team. You do not understand that this is bigger than basketball. This is about a City losing its identity. This is about a man losing his childhood. This is about that man's 10 year old son crying because his team, the team he just fell in love with, doesn't love him back. This is about the employees who will lose their jobs. This is about the restaurants and stores that need the arena to stay open. This is about us. And we will not give up. And will never forget or forgive.

More by this Author

  • The NBA Slam Dunk Contest
    22

    The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is an annual competition held during NBA All Star Weekend where the best dunkers in the league are chosen to show off their talents. The contest did not start in the NBA however, as it...

  • Thank You Arco Arena
    0

    Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena is closing its door to make room for a State of the Art Entertainment and Sports Complex in Downtown. As much as a new arena was needed, the old barn will be missed.

  • Why Sacramento Is The Capital Of California
    41

    Ask any grade school student in New York or Chicago what City is the capital of California; most would likely say Los Angeles or San Francisco. As amazing as it may seem, however, the Capitol of California is the City...


Comments 10 comments

Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 3 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

Oh, bgpappa, my heart goes out to you and the many, many Kings fans with the news that became official today. I am one on the receiving end of this deal, so I recall how terribly I felt when the Sonics left Seattle.

I recall my father taking me to my first game on my tenth birthday to see Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and Jack Marin take on Walt Hazzard and Bob Rule. It still hurt so badly last year that fans in Seattle rooted for the Heat in the championship last year, just so Clay Bennett would not get what should, rightfully, have been ours.

Though I'm sure the fans in Sacremento are feeling what we felt five years ago, there are some significant differences in these deals. First, the Sonics were sold by a hometown boy (the founder of Starbucks, Howard "Schmuck" Schultz) to an outside interest DESPITE there being local interests willing to buy the team. The second big difference is our local politicians sold the Sonics out, unlike the heroic efforts put forth by Sacramento's mayor, the Honorable Kevin Johnson.

We have known up here in the northwest that regaining a team would mean taking a team whose fans love it. Some fans didn't care; some of us feel that our treasure would be at the ripping of the souls of people we were five years ago.

I have tremendously mixed emotions about this deal. I'm happy that the Sonics will return, but I hate that it was done over the gallant efforts put forth by the local government and fans of Sacramento. The Maloofs were handed an arena on a silver platter, and shared the joy with the fans before going into hiding to bite the hand and stab the fans.

Howard Schultz doesn't make public appearances here, either. He maloofed his deal, and started this whole spiral of events that is now costing a fellow hubber I admire his team.

True fans will always know that the Thunder are really the Sonics, and the Sonics are really the Kings. May David Stern, Clay Bennett, Howard Schultz, and the Maloof brothers enjoy their Starbucks in eternal hell. I'm sure there's a shop on every corner there.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 3 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

I have nothing against Seattle, except for the many many many fans who have gloated to Sacramento without knowing the facts. You have your facts almost right, so you get what we have gone through. Maloofs never gave a local group a chance to buy. Was never told team was for sale. As early as December, Maloofs said not for sale.

But this isn't over yet. Trust me, Kings fans won't quit. Nothing personal against Seattle, but you are stealing our team. Distinctions without differences to me. But I respect that you came on here and tried to be respectful. For you I am happy.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 3 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

I know your team is being stolen, bgpappa. I also hope you fans prevail, and this distinction is significant: your local government is trying to save the team. Seattle's local government sold our team out.

May that distinction make the difference. I'll continue to wait if Sacramento prevails, as will many Sonics fans with mixed emotions. The fans up here who don't care about Kings' fans simply don't remember how it felt.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 3 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Fair enough Tom and thank you for sharing. Everyone here is all in, and have been for 3 years. We have 2 things going for us 1). Mayor Kevin Johnson 2) The Maloofs screw up a good thing better than anyone on earth.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 3 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

And a third: a rabid fan base!

I love the Maloof line!


adjkp25 profile image

adjkp25 3 years ago from Northern California

I lived in Sacramento for a few years and I can't believe what the Maloofs have done with the team. I believe they are nothing more than back stabbing wanna be politicians. With all of their backtracking I wonder how (if ever) credible they were with building a new arena or anything else that came out of their mouths.

The Kings fans stuck it out even through some terrible seasons, to have them lose their team because of these frauds would be a shame.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 3 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Tom, yes. Very true. But sadly, as the folks in Seattle know, the fan base is not a determining factor. But Kings fans will be vocal. You guys haven't seen anything yet.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 3 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Totally agree adjkp25. The Maloofs ruined a good thing. It was good for them too. Huge profits. But they lost it all.


johnofnatomas 2 years ago

actually thank you maloofs for saving the kings we wouldnt have had a deal if it werent 4 u. You are always welcome in Sacramento. It was the kings fans that saved natomas. Keep the kings in natomas thx. I am not ready to pay a higher tax to send them downtown


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 2 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Note that I wrote this well before Vivek and company came to town. Also note, you won't be paying a tax.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working