As part of the Comstock’s-sponsored Vanguard Awards issue in Sept. ‘02, the infamous Gavin and Joe Maloof graced our cover as “Outstanding Corporate Citizens.”
They first arrived in Sacramento in 1998 when they acquired a minority interest in the Kings. They took majority control the following year.
Upon their arrival, the Maloofs appeared dedicated to making as big a splash on the local giving arena as they were courtside at the old ARCO arena. In March of ‘99, the new owners were publicized rolling up their proverbial sleeves for a hard day’s work renovating a dilapidated baseball field for the Airport Little League.
Maloof Sport and Entertainment donated $500,000 to support former NBA star (and now Mayor) Kevin Johnson’s Oak Park youth program. Kings volunteers, including players, annually served Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of needy Sacramentans at the TLC Soup Kitchen. In 2001, the Maloof brothers were named the first ever “Most Involved Executives in Professional Sports” by the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.
“Our entire family sees community service as a major priority for the Kings organization,” Gavin told Comstock’s. “We are dedicated to assisting those in need in our community.”
“We’re ready to move on.”
But beginning in 2005, as the team’s on court success began to decline, the Maloofs seemed to become disenchanted – aloof, if you will. Not often were they often seen around town, or even courtside. They started making noise about wanting the city to fund and build a new downtown arena with one critical caveat: The Maloofs insisted they must control and manage it. If this didn’t come about, there were not-so subtle threats to move the team to Las Vegas and later to Anaheim.
In May of 2013, after a contracted battle, the Maloof family acquiesced to the demands of the NBA Board of Directors and agreed to sell the Kings and their arena to a group led by tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadivé for $535 million. At the time of the public announcement, younger brother George said the Maloof family was looking forward to the next chapter in its history.
“We’re excited. We’re ready to move on,” George told The Sacramento Bee. “We just feel it’s Vivek’s time, and we want to move on.”
Today the Maloof brothers are focused on entertainment and sports ventures. Since the creation of Maloof Productions and Maloof Music in 2006, the family has become increasingly involved in the development of both television and music programming. In 2008, Joe and Gavin founded the Maloof Money Cup, a worldwide series of skateboarding competitions for both professional and amateurs most recently held in New York and South Africa.
Now, the Maloof’s dream of a new downtown arena supported with public funding is now well on its way of becoming a reality. A year after the sale, this past May, the city of Sacramento finalized an agreement to build a downtown arena for the Kings. Cost for the arena is estimated at $477 million. The city is financing $223 million and Kings ownership group, led by majority owner Vivek Ranadivé, will pay $254 million.
Douglas Curley is the editor in chief of Comstock’s. Contact him at email@example.com.