The city of Sacramento is mourning after news came earlier in the week that their arena deal was likely down the drain. While all parties involved once had a handshake agreement in place to build a new venue to host the Kings for decades to come, the Maloof family backed out due to financial concerns. Despite tireless efforts from Mayor Kevin Johnson and the NBA, everything appears to have fallen apart.
Joe Maloof, a co-owner of the franchise, talked to The Sacramento Bee about everything that had transpired in recent days. Here are a few snippets of what he had to say.
On why the Maloofs backed out of the negotiations:
It was a bad deal. The main thing was ... the projected revenues were too high. They were at 2005 levels, before the housing bubble burst and the economy went down. We kept telling (NBA attorney) Harvey Benjamin that. He didn't listen, he didn't listen.
On how he and his family feels just hours after everything happened:
We feel like criminals, and we didn't do anything wrong. This was just the wrong time and this was the wrong deal. When the time is right, we'll do a deal. We'll look at another downtown deal or something at Natomas. Bring us a deal we can sign. Nobody wanted to get an arena done more than we did. We've been talking about it for 13 years. Everyone just needs to calm down. We all need to cool off.
Heh -- good luck with that one, Joe. I don't think anyone in Sacramento is cooling off until they start laying cement for the new arena.
And on what we can expect to happen next:
We've had our ups and downs like every owner, but we're profitable now, one of four or five teams making money. We have to make some moves this summer and get a high draft pick, and fix our team. We have to get our team better. But we are not going to fold. We are resilient. We're coming to the games. We'll be there (today). We're not outsiders anymore. It's our team, our city. Everything in life is timing."