The Sacramento Kings are involved in an endlessly tricky battle at the moment, with the team caught up in negotiations for a new arena that has the co-owners of the team butting heads with city council members and, notably, Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. Johnson fought long and hard to push through a plan for a new arena, in hopes of keeping the popular team in the city, rather than relocating. Now one of the owners of the team would like Johnson to be removed from any further negotiations regarding the arena.
According to J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today, George Maloof wants to start negotiations with the city over again, but with Johnson being excluded.
"I don't think I'd want to negotiate with the mayor," Maloof told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday. "Maybe there's someone else that I'd feel more comfortable with.
"We're disappointed in comments made by the mayor that we feel were shots to us that were unfair and not truthful."
Johnson and the Maloof brothers have publicly butted heads several times before, but the latest round of events surrounding this entire saga have put public favor squarely on the side of Johnson. Maloof's recent tirades during the arena negotiations in New York this past week managed to make the owners fall even further out of favor with NBA fans -- if such a thing is possible.
The Maloofs clearly put little stock in public opinion and always have. They are businessmen and are mostly concerned with their bottom line, as many owners of sports teams are. If they were indeed lied to by the mayor, that is unfortunate, but the Maloofs are on the verge of hurting their business reputation as a result of caring so little about public opinion. It will be interesting to see what the next step is ... but Kings fans are understandably nervous.
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