Maloofs spotted watching old episodes of “The Virginian” on Netflix

Two unidentified people who were at a briefing by Virginia Beach economic development director Warren Harris about new arena plans last Thursday have told the Virginian-Pilot that Harris said Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has met with the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings. Harris told the Virginian-Pilot that he never mentioned the Maloofs or the Kings by name in the briefing, but said that Sessoms has met with representatives of an NBA team. He did not disclose whether he referred to them by code name, such as Loofahs, Sack-o’-Tomatoes, or the Rochester Royals.

Anyway, even if the Brothers Who Shall Not Be Named did meet with Sessoms, people meet all the time without moving, or even seriously thinking about moving. Regardless, this should be enough to spark some panicked headlines out in Sacramento — oh, look, there’s one now.

Meanwhile, a new economic impact report is scheduled to be presented to the Virginia Beach city council on Tuesday, after some councilmembers noted that the first report was entirely based on the arena promoters’ figures and contained some improbable assumptions. I bet this new study is totally going to fix all those problems, though — and if not, it’ll give arena boosters another chance for excited news stories about how much economic impact is projected by the people who would be getting money from the project. It’s a win-win!


15 comments on “Maloofs spotted watching old episodes of “The Virginian” on Netflix

  1. I’ll just keep on believing that VB is the least-likely alternative.

    Something has to give, though. At least 60% of the seats were empty for the November 7 Detroit game. Yes, it’s an awful team during the midweek, but it’s only the second home game.

    60% is the optimistic estimate, though. Even the fan sites guessed over 2/3 of the seats were empty. That obviously cannot continue.

  2. Right, because teams always like to keep super accurate attendance records.

    “But the number of fans on hand to witness Ridnour’s last-second basket was well short of the 14,413 that was announced by the Sonics as the attendance and included in the official game summary.
    The actual figure was closer to 9,923 — the “turnstile count” of spectators whose tickets were logged in as they entered the building — a total supplied by the team’s KeyArena landlord, the city of Seattle.”

  3. Well, I think it borders on fraud when teams don’t accurately report the actual number of people in attendance.

    The Kings give away tickets to local charities, and then the charities don’t use them. “Well, that’s 1,000 seats accounted for.” I’m convinced most of these seats then end up on Craigslist.

    It turns out the official attendance on Wednesday was 13,000+. But you could see it was closer to 6,000.

  4. “Only the second home game”? What does that even mean? Early season and late season games (unless against a marquee opponent or on a weekend) that draw poorly are the rule, not the exception in the NBA (and NHL, and MLB, and NFL, and every other sport ever).

  5. Actually for many market midweek games do decently, in the 14,000 range in the NBA (and in NorCal the Sharks sell out regularly on weekdays (at least pre lockout)). The Kings attendance was already hurting due to hatred of the Maloofs, and the fact that’s going down further after the bullshit they pulled last spring is no surprise. There won’t be many panicked headlines if the Maloofs are talking to other cities at this point (that headline wasn’t panicked at all Neil). Most in Sac expect them to be leaving. Hell many welcome it at this point. A Maloof run team is worse than having no team at all.

  6. Seattle (14th ranked media market) –> Oklahoma City (45)
    Charlotte (24) —> New Orleans (53)
    Sacramento (20) —> Va Beach / Norfolk (43)

    Seems obvious something is wrong here.

  7. Mark, it may be that nothing is wrong and cities are realizing when arenas are a good investment or not. The Propheter study in Journal of Urban Affairs 2012 doi 10.1111/j.1467-9906.2011.00597.x found that it was the cities without any other professional sports franchises in town that were better off (as measured by average incomes of people in the metro area) due to a new NBA arena being built. At least during the last 10 years or so and how those arenas get financed. Maybe smaller markets are where people want the NBA to be (although NO doesn’t exactly fit that pattern).

  8. Dan;

    I agree. For the sake of the league’s fans in general, the NBA needs to find a way to get the Maloofs out. Having them move but still own the team really isn’t a long term solution. They need to be out of the owner’s club.

    The “good” owners don’t like to see one of their brethren strong armed out of the league, but I have to think with the Maloofs many problems and appalling track record, even their fellow “small fry” in the NBA owners club would have to be pleased to see the back of them.

    It is not unprecedented in pro sport for fans to hate an owner so much that they stay away until he sells/dies. Chicago fans had very much had enough of Bill Wirtz… yet as soon as the mantle was passed to son Rocky, and the club made a legitimate effort to rebuild (successfully, as it turned out) the fans were back.

    It seems to me the NBA has enough cause to squeeze the Maloofs out given their financial troubles. Do you think they will?

    If they are punted, does anyone think Sacramento can “recover” as an NBA market?

  9. Assuming a worst case scenario, I have to think that Sacramento’s future hinges on what happens in Milwaukee, Indiana and whether or not the league is open to expansion.

    Let’s keep in mind that the longest the league went between expanding was 9 years. Toronto and Vancouver tipped off in ’95 and then the Bobcats in ’04. It’s already been 8 years and if the league does indeed decide to expand again, it probably will wait until new arenas are completed in Seattle and Sacramento, again assuming that the Maloofs keep the team as opposed to sell to Hansen and then relocate to Hampton Roads. That means that you are looking an 11 year stretch between expanding so the owners may be more open minded.

    If the league holds firm on no expansion then they have to hope that Indy doesn’t get a new lease or that Milwaukee’s arena plans fall through. It sucks to have to bank on the failing of others but the Maloofs have made it almost impossible. I know that KJ and the people close to him are going to continue to do what needs to be done in order to keep the current team but there should always be a contingent plan in place. Seattle took the FU NBA route and it took a white knight like Hansen to save the day. Take him out of the equation and there is no future for the NBA in Seattle.

    OTOH, if KJ and the city council are willing to work on backup plans in the event that the Maloofs leave, I have to think that Sacramento will be 1 or 2 on the expansion/relocation list and it will just take a willingness on the part of the leaders to resuscitate the dead railyards plan to get a new arena up and running.

  10. Well Milwaukee isn’t much of a concern, or at least not nearly as much as it was now that they’ve signed a somewhat long term lease. Remember that the Kings time in Sac at is stands now is likely measured in months, not years. The brothers will file for relocation somewhere in March depending on what they can work out in VA Beach with Comcast, any headway they can make with the Lakers in Anaheim, and/or whether they decide to pack it in and sell to Hansen in Seattle.

  11. Trueblood, Seattle won’t kick any money in towards building an arena until Hansen secures an NBA team and has them sign a bunch of paperwork to tie them to Seattle. It would have to be a completely different deal for there to be an arena in Seattle before a team is “created”.

  12. I don’t see a real scenario where the Maloofs move the team to Virgina Beach. As many people have implied on other posts, I believe the league will force the Maloofs hand and the Virgina Beach tour is just to get more $$$ from Hansen to appear they have alternatives. If the Maloofs are going to re-lo the team, it would be to Anheim which I thought woudl have happened over the offseason. (Sounds like Deja vu all over again).

  13. You do realize that Comcast/Global Spectrum is a major part of the Virginia Beach deal though. If any company with deep pockets and a lot of hooks into the NBA/TV revenues could make it happen I’d think they’re the one.

  14. Off-topic: The Warriors are holding a “town hall” on their proposed arena tonight (11/12/2012), from 7-8 pm PST. I won’t post a link here, because it will go into moderation, but if you go to the Warriors page at, you’ll see a blog entry. This blog entry contains the phone number (toll-free) and the access code to listen in (and ask questions, I guess, if you’re lucky).

    As far as kicking out owners, I think at least two owners have been as bad as the Maloofs: Shinn and Sterling. The NBA’s track record for kicking out “bad” owners hasn’t been very good. I really wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

    In this case, I’m glad the Maloofs jetisoned the deal. It wasn’t for the reasons they stated, which was their claim it was bad for the city. It was because they’re so broke, they can’t even afford to borrow money right now. However, the stated reason (that it was bad for the city) was spot-on. So the reason they gave was correct, even if it was a lie.

    That deal cannot be revived easily, seeing as how AEG is now for sale. From that limited perspective, between Sac, Seattle, Anaheim and VB, I think Sac is the city they’re least likely to be in for the 2013-2014 season.

  15. “…between Sac, Seattle, Anaheim and VB, I think Sac is the city they’re least likely to be in for the 2013-2014 season.”

    Not quite. We can be 100% sure that they won’t be playing in Virginia Beach anytime soon – unless they want to play in a high school gym. Best they could do is play next door in Norfolk, assuming they’re okay with playing in 10,000 seat Scope Arena.

    Between the demographics and the lack of an interim place to play, it’s really hard to imagine a team moving to Virginia Beach. If Comcast is involved, maybe they’d share a home with the 76ers for a couple of years?