We’re a week late with this one, but in a pre-NBA Finals interview filmed on a balcony in South Beach, ESPN’s Henry Abbott interviewed ESPN’s David Thorpe. The questions came in rapid-fire form and were occasionally random (chances you’ll work for an NBA team? 8.1%), and then came this:
Q: Best owner in the NBA?
A: “You’re going to laugh at this, probably, but I think the Maloofs in Sacramento are amazing. They let their people do their thing, and if they fail, it’s on them, and if they succeed its on them.”
Well, he’s certainly right about the laughing part. Downright hysterical. I didn’t detect sarcasm, but perhaps I simply missed it.
The Maloofs are idiots. They’re brothers who inherited big bucks, recently bricked badly in Vegas and tried to get out of a mess by taking the Kings from Sacramento. How are the Maloofs amazing NBA owners? I guess Thorpe doesn’t read his ESPN colleague Bill Simmons.
The Kings haven’t been nearly as smart or lucky. Suddenly, it’s the arena’s fault. You know, because the arena told them to trade Kevin Martin for half his value, or spend one-fourth of their payroll on Beno Udrih and Francisco Garcia …
Webber’s demise triggered a chain of events that eventually turned Sacramento into the NBA’s Pittsburgh Pirates. Only in this past season did Kings fans start seriously worrying about losing their team — not just because their owners were overleveraged but because they had little faith in Stern, who looked the other way after Game 6′s officiating fiasco in 2002, then again as the Sonics were stolen, then again these past 12 months as the Maloofs did everything short of putting their office equipment on Craigslist.
During the lockout, when there’s nothing to write about, and the media starts doing lists of the best and worst owners … my guess is the Maloofs check in around the 24-29 range.
David Thorpe probably wishes he had a mulligan on this question. He has to, right?
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