Sac-Town Puts the 'Oof' in Maloof Again
How much more evidence is needed to confirm the toxic touch of the Maloof brothers?
Chris Hansen found out the hard way what happens when you kick karma in the butt. The leader of Seattle's attempt to wrest the sad-sack Kings away from Cali's capital has seen his fortunes tumble. Coincidence?
- He tweaked kismet by plunking down a non-refundable $30million deposit to the Maloofs. It's now gone, and he has nothing to show for it.
- His previously high-flying hedge fund, Valiant Capital Management, just took a huge hit for a second consecutive quarter.
Adding insult to irony was the fact that part of Hansen's recent financial calamity involved "a bet on India," and his loss in the battle for control of the Kings was due to the last-minute emergence of an East Indian, Vivek Ranadivé, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Tibico, a real-time software giant based in the high-octane Silicon Valley. Ranadivé also happens to be a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors. His last-minute emergence as the Sacramento group's visage brought significant advantages to their position:
- He is already a member of the NBA owners' fraternity, as it were;
- He is a great PR benefit as a display of diversity in the league's ownership, and
- David Stern has long coveted raising the NBA's profile in Asia and the subcontinent.
Given Stern's comments that the competing bids were effectively equal, the relocation committee's deliberations most likely came down to intangibles. Yes, it surely noted Sac-Town's strong support for a perenially losing team, but it could well be that an even stronger factor was one that was probably left unsaid, but tacitly acknowledged: the Maloof brothers themselves.
After all, they were blatant in their support for the Seattle group.
Think about it. The Maloofs had embarrassed the NBA on more than one occasion with their double-dealing chicanery. They even embarrassed themselves. How strong of a rebuke was it, then, when the committee unanimously voted to go forward with the Sacramento group?
That gave Mayor Kevin Johnson two reasons to celebrate. It looks like his municipality will keep the team and finally be rid of the bumbling brothers.
Back in the 1960s, the Hollies had a minor hit in the United Kingdom with King Midas in Reverse. It's a terrible tune, which makes it a perfect candidate for the Maloof's theme song. Everything they touch requires a thorough disinfecting afterward.
Just ask Chris Hansen and his foiled Seattlites.