In a phone interview with FOX40 Sports Director Jim Crandell, George Maloof said that the deal to build a new arena in the downtown Sacramento railyards was a bad deal.
Maloof said he and his family, the owners of the Sacramento Kings, heeded the advice of several lawyers, advisers and economists.
“Everyone came back with the same conclusion, and that’s, ‘Why would you do this?’” said Maloof.
Maloof said his family wasn’t comfortable asking for things from the city, given the city’s current economic situation.
In the interview, Maloof once again said that his family remains committed to Sacramento.
“Our intention is to stay and make it work in Sacramento,” he said, adding that it’s “unfair” to question his family’s intentions.
Maloof said the team’s focus will shift to the off season and take time off of talking about the arena.
So what went wrong? Maloof said what wasn’t in the previously agreed-upon term sheet is what bothered him.
“We wanted to have some type of mechanism, like other teams do in other cities, that if things weren’t working out, we’d have type of buyout. We weren’t asking to get out for free. Something that would get us out of the lease just in case we were stuck in a four-to-five year period where things weren’t going well,” said Maloof. He added that negotiations with the city didn’t get far enough to discuss that.
The Maloof family also says a renovation of Power Balance Pavilion, currently one of the oldest venues in the NBA, isn’t out of the question. The first time the Maloof family suggested a renovation was earlier this month, when the arena deal originally fell apart at the league’s Board of Governors meeting in New York.
Prior to that, the Maloof family was staunchly opposed to renovating the current arena.
“The mayor wants his arena downtown, so so be it,” Maloof said, with a chuckle.
Mayor Kevin Johnson might now move on to a “plan b,” which could still feature a new, downtown arena but the Kings wouldn’t be involved in planning and negotiations.
Maloof didn’t rule out the possibility of an arena deal in the future.
“Call me a villain, call me what you want. Hate me,” said Maloof. “But we’ve been sincere throughout this whole process.”The Kings defeated the Lakers in their final game of the season, and will be playing again in Sacramento next season.