It now appears the hold-up in negotiations between the Maloof family and Chris Hansen is the nagging bit about how the Maloofs won’t actually be owning or running a team anymore. Unfortunately for Mr. Hansen, the Maloofs would very much like to keep running a team, or, at the very least, have a say in basketball decisions.
An initial Yahoo! Sports report on the sale, since confirmed by others, is that the family would retain a small percentage in the team. But the question now, according to the source, is whether that percentage also would allow the Maloofs some say in how the team is run.
The source said it goes beyond dollars and cents and stressed how important being involved in the NBA has been to the family.
If this sounds familiar, it should. When the Palms Casino Resort started hemorrhaging money during the dark days of the recession, the Maloofs sold off almost their entire stake (remember, this is after they sold their liquor distribution company to keep the casino afloat) and essentially became the Jay-Z of casino ownership — they retained 2%. The best part: George Maloof still got to run the place.
The Kings situation is beginning to resemble the Palms situation: get some billionaire to bail you out of all your debts to the NBA and the city of Sacramento, yet retain a small stake in the new ownership group and have a say in operations. In addition, sources claim the Maloofs would like to re-establish their liquor distribution company. So not only are the Maloofs trying to hitch a ride on another billionaire’s back, that billionaire would also be funding their return to the family business, all while having to entertain recommendations on how to run a professional sports franchise — which is something they are quite terrible at.