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KINGS FOR A DAY: MALOOF FAMILY BUYS NBA KINGS AND ARCO ARENA
Published January 19, 1999
The NBA Kings announced Friday that the Maloof family of NM "will assume controlling interest" of Capital Sports & Entertainment, the company that includes the Kings and Arco Arena, effective July 1, according to Martin McNeal of the SACRAMENTO BEE. After the deal was announced, Gavin and Joe Maloof said that they had "no plans" to move the team from Sacramento. Current majority Owner Jim Thomas said he will remain as the company's CEO until July 1 and will work with the Maloofs "to help ensure a smooth transition." Though no financial terms of the deal were disclosed, Thomas is "expected" to retain a small part of the team. The Maloofs purchased a 25% share of the team in January '98 for approximately $40M. Thomas said his decision to sell his stake in the Kings was "influenced" by new business interests he wants to focus on, as well as the team's "cloudy position" in the free agent market. Thomas: "[The free agent situation] had some bearing on it. We have been talking with some people who wanted to know about what the future would be like for the team. So once I made the decision, it made sense to get the Maloofs involved so we could have a united front" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16). DOUBTING THOMAS? Thomas, who took control of the Kings in '92: "I'm glad I had the experience. I'm disappointed with the level of success. I truly believed and expected that we would be in the NBA Finals in three to four years. I had no idea about the salary cap and a lot of other impeding things" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16). MALOOFS NOT ALOOF: Gavin Maloof said that his family "plans to be aggressive in the pursuit of talent." Maloof: "We're pro-active. We've got money, and we're committed to putting a better product on the floor" (Martin McNeal, SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16). Also in Sacramento, Mark Kreidler suggested that the Maloofs establish residency in Sacramento, as Thomas was perceived by the local fans as a "complete outsider" because he never left L.A. to establish residence in the city (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16).