Maloof family (finally) announces agreement to sell Kings

Fans rallied for the Kings at their last home game of the 2010/2011 season April 13.

Details are still being kept quiet, but the Kings are officially planning to leave Sacramento.

Announced early Monday morning via press release, the Maloof family said "that an executed purchase and sale agreement has been reached to sell the family’s interest in the National Basketball Association (NBS) Sacramento Kings to a group led by investor Chris Hansen."

No comments or details regarding the agreement is being released, as the transaction requires approval by the NBA’s board of governors, the release states.

Mayor Kevin Johnson was quick to react to the news, by tweeting that the deal isn’t quite done. "Let me be clear. Though agreement btw Maloors & Seattle is out, deal is NOT done. Sac can still present an offer 2 NBA BOG. #playingtowin," he tweeted.

The Maloof family expressed gratitude toward Sacramento and its fans. "We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have a great admiration for the fans and our team members," Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof stated in the release. "We would also like to thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise."

Hansen returned the compliment on the Sonics Arena website, and essentially echoed the same sentiments. "We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento NBA franchise," he wrote.

"While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades." 

The team’s relocation to Seattle has to be approved by the NBA relocation committee, which Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski reports is just a "formality." 

 Hansen’s group would pay about $340 million in the deal, or 65 percent of the $525 million total franchise valuation, according to an article in SBNation.

– KAREN WILKINSON 

See the official statements below.

Statement from Chris Hansen:

"We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. The sale is obviously subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and we look forward to working with the League in the coming months to consummate the transaction.

While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades."

Press release from the Maloof family: 

"The Maloof family announced today that an executed purchase and sale agreement has been reached to sell the family’s interest in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Sacramento Kings to a group led by investor Chris Hansen. The transaction requires approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors and therefore no comments or details regarding the agreement will be released.

“We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have had a great admiration for the fans and our team members. We would also like thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise,” said Gavin Maloof, Kings co-owner speaking on behalf of the Maloof family." 

Statement from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson 

"Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a Top 20 market and  owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history. When it comes to keeping the team in our  community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on  identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and  the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL."

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January 21, 2013 | 9:42 AM

Let another city take this emotional and financial drain. Good riddance. Maybe KJ can focus on something besides the Kings finally.

January 22, 2013 | 10:51 AM

Ohh….but shame on us for wanting them to pack up. They’ve created all these well-paying jobs. Umm… right?

January 22, 2013 | 3:43 PM

I agree with you naffleck-the Kings have never been the same since they were so close to winning it all during the 2002-2003 season- were those exciting times for us and for them- yes they were!
As a Sacramento native, I feel that we have more pressing matters to worry about, our economy and our childrens education system immediatly come to my mind.
Wherever you go Kings, goodluck to you and to your families and thanks for the memories.

January 21, 2013 | 10:02 AM

Considering that the Packers are owned by the community of Green Bay, does the Mayor’s statement mean he is putting together a financing package from public sources–buying the team with tax dollars?

January 22, 2013 | 8:33 AM

I’m not sure how much of the Packers is owned by the actual city. Isn’t it mostly private stockholders who own the Packers?

January 21, 2013 | 10:04 AM

Sacramento has real, urgent issues. Whether the Kings stay or go is not one of them. That is all.

January 21, 2013 | 11:32 AM

Perhaps if KJ put as much energy into attempting to save the Kings as he did about other problems facing out city (homelessness, unemployment, building a more thriving private sector, debt that will soon crush the city budget, closing pools/parks, etc…) the city would actually improve.

I am still in a state of sadness that the progressive leaders of our city were not brave enough to step forward and run against him in the last election. When is the next mayoral election?

January 21, 2013 | 12:26 PM

Not until 2016, unless someone starts a recall campaign…although those don’t have a very good track record. KJ still has a big pile of reelection funds from the last campaign, most of which went unspent except to pay various fines and penalties (like the nonprofit flap.) A recall campaign would let him go back into fundraising mode, and while the people of Sacramento may not be very happy with him, KJ’s financial backers still like his style.

January 22, 2013 | 7:47 AM

The “progressive” leaders of our city put it into debt.

I don’t blame KJ for trying to save the team, but the writing is on the wall. It is over.

P W
Avatar of P W
January 21, 2013 | 1:08 PM

I can’t blame KJ for putting forth an effort to try to keep the Kings here – even though, personally, I couldn’t care less whether they stay or move. That said – I harbor a distinct disdain for the Maloofs – who have apparently fooled another into thinking that they’re “honorable” – namely, Chris Hansen, who has obviously never purchased a used car before. How many games have the brothers attended in recent memory, by the way? I’m guessing: None. They will go down in Sacramento history in the top ten listing of scoundrels our city has had the misfortune of having as some of its residents. Sorry to see the Kings go, yes, but not the Maloofs.
Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$.

January 21, 2013 | 4:58 PM

I am not sure if I agree with your judgment that the Maloofs are among the biggest scoundrels to live in Sacramento…they didn’t actually live here, did they?

P W
Avatar of P W
January 22, 2013 | 5:46 AM

Yep – two of the brothers (not George) live in Natomas – Westlake commune (gated community) off of El Centro and Del Paso Roads.

January 22, 2013 | 7:58 AM

The Maloof’s have been at plenty of games this season. None in the past week or two, but prior to that they have been in attendance on a fairly regular basis.

January 22, 2013 | 8:17 AM

I stand corrected! And commend them for having a short commute to work. They’d still have to fight their way past some fairly serious scoundrels to make their way into the Top 10. We’re traditionally a scoundrel-friendly place.

January 21, 2013 | 6:43 PM

Unless KJ is delusional, he has know that the team is gone, but I suppose he has to make a show of trying to “save” the franchise.

January 22, 2013 | 11:42 AM

I don’t think he is delusional. I think he is very competitive which is probably how he defied any / all obstacles growing up within Oak Park and became an NBA player and later Mayor even with some baggage. For him to keep trying actually, in my opinion, is not really a bad thing. While I have not always been nice towards Johnson (and for good reason lol) I do admire his tenacity. Heck, Anything really worth doing takes persistence, perseverance, and stubborn determination. It requires strength not to give up. To not quit until you reach your goal is something I admire. Having said that, I guess Johnson and I have similarities lol. (because I won’t quit in addressing youth violence) Hopefully our similarities will outweigh any differences we have LOL But now after the stunt with Think Big Sacramento, trying to sell the team from underneath them when they were not looking to sell, I can’t imagine the Maloofs wanting to stay, wanting Johnson to win and I can’t imagine them stopping until they reach their goal either (to leave Sac far behind) and my guess is the Maloofs have some stubborn determination to leave and won’t stop until they too reach their goal and see to it Sac or companies affiliated with Sac are not buying the team (afterall the Maloofs did say they can not work with (make deals with) someone they don’t trust

ccc
Avatar of ccc
January 22, 2013 | 8:57 AM

enough of the pathetic picture at the top. really depressing

January 22, 2013 | 11:12 AM

It is time for the city council to move on from this issue, and focus on quality of life issues that are impacting Sacramento. Crime, Parks and Recreation and our infrastructure all need help. This is what city leaders are elected to do.

If, once these issues are adequately addressed, as a stretch target, they want to pursue opportunities that help build a vibrant local economy, maybe they should be thinking more broadly than a privately owned sports team, which have unpredictable histories of being bought, sold and shifted around the USA in search of better returns on investment. The Kings debacle has shown how a city can be held hostage by owners such as the Malloof’s, their desire for profits, and belief that the taxpayer should subsidize their bad management, and failing franchise through the syphoning of tax dollars.

May I suggest future endeavors focus on some of the key “lighthouse” businesses that already have deep roots here, industries that present a natural competitive advantage for this region: Tertiary Education, (UC Davis and the Health System Campus) Health Care (which accounts for almost 20% of GDP) and Agriculture especially the Wine industry come to mind. For example, next week Sacramento will host the largest wine industry trade show outside of Europe. Exhibitors from all points of the globe will be here. Why cant these industries be leveraged, and more “outside of Sacramento” dollars be attracted here?

January 22, 2013 | 11:34 AM

While I’m sorry to see the Kings leave, I can understand why it makes more financial sense to relocate to Seattle. That city has many large company headquarters who would be interested in buying those high-priced suites and Sacramento has virtually none of those. It all gets down to money. Guess we’ll have to start rooting for the Warriors again after all these years.

January 22, 2013 | 12:55 PM

Remember this meet-me-at-high noon at the O.K (i mean Oak Park)-Corral letter Sacramento’s Think Big, wrote Steve Hansen Feb of last year http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/02/13/thing-big-sacramentos-open-letter-to-chris-hansen/

Surely writing such a scathing letter to a billionaire can have its draw-backs, heck back-fire. Surely he’s competitive and hasn’t forgotten the letter he received. AND for Petes sake remember this embarrasing “letter Steve Hansen should write back to misguided Think Big Sacramento” http://mynorthwest.com/?nid=422&sid=627670&page=0

Combine Think Big misguided letter with “You can’t do a deal with somebody you don’t trust,” George Maloof Jr. said, according to The Sacramento Bee. “I don’t trust him.” heck I’d say game over. Heck, Appears The Maloofs learned to stop letting the left hand (Sacramento) know what the right hand is doing (Maloofs) by faking us out with Anaheim and Virginia Beach lol Seattle was never off the table. Johnson may have a game plan, but the Maloofs took the game into overtime and drove the ball right down center court. It would also appear Johnson’s previous attempt to sell the team from underneath the Maloofs comes with a cost, and backfires, creating a very competitive hostile environment. Heck, he can’t cry foul now. His previous actions backfires: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/sam_amick/04/16/sacramento.kings/index.html

In my opinion, Johnson’s fastest move was the Maloofs slowest, they anticipated what Johnson would do (after the attempt to block Kings from going to Anaheim…) They already knew his game plan. I appreciate Johnson for still trying but the fact remains, the NBA may entertain Johnson’s quest, heck, if nothing else the competition has aided in bringing up the price of the team, but seems NBA has to keep team owners happy also and what message would they send the other team owners if they allow Johnson, a mayor of sacramento to defeat team owners??? Surely they can’t have mayors in other cities attempting to buy out teams by any means necessary

January 22, 2013 | 1:20 PM

Johnson may have some millionaires and former (retired) basketball players behind him, but it would seem the Maloofs would have some billionaires and current team owners behind him– Team owners not wanting to see a mayor of a city defeat them. Hey I like the underdog, I’d love to see a former player defeat the team owner, but heck way I see it is Big fish eat little fish and people follow the money- not the money from the sale of the team but profits and Seattle might profit the NBA moreso than Sacramento. If Johnson pulls this off, I will buy him a cake to celebrate lol

January 22, 2013 | 4:10 PM

If the Kings leave I will be sad. Until then, I appreciate the fight to keep them here.

January 22, 2013 | 5:23 PM

I saw the press conference with those who committed to a million dollars each and I enjoyed seeing their passion. I am one who really admires a good fight. Anyone with a you-may-have-won-the-battle-but-I-will- win-the war attitude always inspires me to keep fighting my cause. So if nothing else comes from the fight I appreciate and respect the drive behind it

January 23, 2013 | 9:37 AM

The kings are sold. Kevin Johnson now needs to find other things to do in arco arena to bring money and jobs into the area. All the season ticket holders now will have extra money to spend on other things. It is just basketball

January 23, 2013 | 4:10 PM

Having spent this morning getting horizonty with my crystal ball, I have the following to impart:

In a turn of events which rocks the sports landscape and leaves media pundits and bloggers alike flabbergasted and breathlessly um, tweeting, white-knight gazillionaire carpetbaggers Ron Burkle and Mark Mastrov do their best Peter Magowan-meets-Jerry Jones and swoop in to wrest the Kings from the clutches of the Seattleites, with a big assist from point guard KJ, whose dazzling pitch to the NBA Board of Governors proved indispensible toward turning the tide in Sac-Town’s favor.

Citywide jubilation is short-lived, however, as New Downtown Arena progress quickly grinds to a halt amid eminent-domain and environmental-impact snafus, with heretofore-heralded Downtown Plaza owners JMA Ventures inexplicably becoming an obstructionist thorn in the side of the gung-ho arena zealots. Meanwhile, the 2013-2014 Sacramento Kings muddle through a feckless 24-58 season, after a controversial trade sends DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for draft picks.

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