By Ailene Voisin
Responding to a column in Monday's Orange County Register suggesting that the Maloofs are entertaining offers to relocate the franchise to Anaheim because of the region's inability to provide a modern entertainment complex to house the Kings, co-owner Joe Maloof said: "We are looking at all options to ensure the long term viability of this franchise. We're looking at all our options. Of course you're going to look at your options! We're businessmen. We've been at this for 10 years without any (arena) success."
In a calmer voice, the most emotional of the Maloofs acknowledged that he "receives calls every day" from representatives in other cities and insisted "nothing has changed."
"There is a sense of urgency because we've been at this for so long," he said from his cell phone. "We can't sugarcoat it. Everybody knows the region needs a new arena. When the NCAA (Tournament) is refusing to schedule events in Sac, you have to acknowledge that you need an entertainment venue. I can't give you a time table, but at some point, something has to get done. (Sacramento) mayor Kevin Johnson is working with four different groups, looking at four plans, and we're hoping something comes out of this. We want to be right here in Sacramento. We've always said that. It's been what? Eleven years? Rumors, rumors, rumors. I get tired of answering all these questions. Can't we just talk about how much better DeMarcus Cousins is getting?"
The relocation chatter was revived late last week amid reports that two private firms are negotiating to buy controlling interest in the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, leading to speculation that the Maloofs are in financial trouble. Joe Maloof said the family is "restructuring" their financial obligations at the family-owned casino, then added, "We will still own the Palms. We're just refinancing like everybody else in Vegas is doing. The economy has hit Vegas hard. But we'll come out of this in a better position than we were. It's nothing more than that, believe me."
In another development, sources close to the situation confirmed the Kings are on the verge of announcing a new multi-year naming rights deal. In other words, Arco Arena won't be Arco Arena much longer. Asked to provide details, Joe Maloof would say only, "I can't talk about that right now. You'll just have to wait. But everybody is going to be surprised."
KTXL: Maloofs will consider all options