SBD/14/Sports Industrialists

GQ CHRONICLES ROLLER COASTER RISE AND FALL OF BRUCE MCNALL

     The plight of former L.A. Kings Owner BRUCE MCNALL is
featured by Kevin Brooks in the June issue of GQ.  McNall, whose
employees "semi-facetiously" called "God," has pleaded guilty to
bank fraud and conspiracy, and admitted that he had "tricked
banks and other investors" out of almost $250M.  Cook reports
McNall "had a ten-year party with other people's money," but,
"until now, he has been winning the fight to save his
reputation."  As a young coin entrepreneur, McNall had a net
worth of almost $60,000 at the age of 16.  But from Gretzky's
arrival in L.A. until last year, McNall "was constantly juggling
hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, infinitely more than he
was worth, to keep the party going."  Cook writes that there was
"little distinction between corporate and personal spending; they
were inextricably, illegally, entwined."  McNall Sports &
Entertainment (MS&E) VP Controller Joanna Orehek: "None of us
knew exactly what was real.  It didn't matter as long as the next
big loan kept the bills paid. In the meantime, you cheat a
little."  When one employee finally confronted McNall on possible
bank fraud, McNall "swore the fraud was about to stop" as one
more deal -- selling the Kings to Sony -- would work everything
out.  But by the end of '92, MS&E owed more than $200M, and by
May '94 McNall was bankrupt.  McNall will probably serve no more
than five years, and "he is sorry, but not morose."  Orehek:
"Nobody ever wanted to say no to Bruce and hurt his feelings.
But mostly it was golden handcuffs.  It was greed" (GQ, 6/95
issue).
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