Sacramento Kings owners George Maloof (third from left), Gavin Maloof (third from right), and Joe Maloof (second from right). (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
Political consultant Doug Elmets mocked Joe Maloof at a 2006 Halloween party
SACRAMENTO Sacramento Kings fans are angry but not entirely surprised by the latest twist in the Maloof family's plan to sell the team to Seattle investors.
"Time and again they have managed to screw this community," said Sacramento political consultant Doug Elmets.
Elmets was reacting to news that broke over the weekend that the Maloofs will not sell the Kings to California-based investors who would keep the team in Sacramento if the NBA blocks the proposed move to Seattle.
The Maloofs are reportedly threatening to retain control of the Kings in partnership with the Seattle investors while the team would continue to play, at least temporarily, in Sacramento.
Elmets believes the Maloofs first showed their lack of committment to Sacramento in September 2006, when Joe Maloof shocked city leaders by publicly torpedoing a campaign to build a new downtown arena with a sales tax increase.
The ranks of Maloof-haters steadily grew with each stab in the back.
"I think they're being jerks," said Sacramento resident Hannah Rice as she waited to cross the street outside the Downtown Plaza.
The family's later attempts to move the team to Anaheim or Virginia Beach led to another offer by Sacramento leaders to build a new arena at the Downtown Railyards, this time subsidized by the city's public parking spaces.
George Maloof nixed the 2012 arena proposal during a meeting of NBA owners in New York, attracting the ire of commissioner David Stern, who had lobbied hard for the plan.
"The Maloofs? They play a lot of games," said Kings fan Macc Brown.
The latest plan to keep the Kings in Sacramento, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, brought together a group of wealthy investors who matched the original Seattle offer and crafted a new plan to build an arena at the Downtown Plaza.
Although the NBA has endorsed the Johnson plan, the Maloofs are still stubbornly resisting it.
"I don't think it's right," said Sacramento resident Cassandra Tryon. "If Sacramento has investors, they should just sell."
Elmets, the political consultant who felt betrayed by the Maloofs in the 2006 sales tax campaign, showed his disdain a month later by hosting a Halloween costume party and dressing up as Joe Maloof.
Elmets' costume lampooned Joe Maloof for appearing in a Carl's Jr. commercial with his brothers that boasted about their wealth.
The costume party brought a rare response to public criticism from a Maloof family member.
Elmets said after the party was mentioned in the Sacramento Bee, he received an angry phone call from the family matriarch.
"Colleen Maloof called me and asked me how I could insult her family and her son by dressing up as him for Halloween," Elmets recalled. "And I said, of course, it was all meant in jest, Mrs. Maloof. The next thing I heard was a 'click.' She hung up on me."
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net