I couldn't help but notice that the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas announced last week that it was shutting down the Playboy Club and is planning a $50 million upgrade that would "re-energize" the flagging hot spot.
Of course, this is only possible because the Maloof family owners of the Sacramento Kings no longer controls the Palms.
At the same time they were running the Kings into the ground, the Maloofs turned a 98 percent stake in the Palms into a 2 percent stake.
"The (Maloof) family's share was reduced last year to 2 percent after restructuring erased more than $400 million in debt and gave TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners each 49 percent," wrote FoxNews.com.
The Casino City Times, which reports on the gambling industry, also notes that the Palms' new owners spent $600,000 to renovate the resort pool and they plan other big changes. The big cheese at the Palms is no longer George Maloof, the family front man who recently trashed a deal to build a downtown arena in Sacramento.
The new big cheese at the Palms is named Joseph Magliarditi.
George Maloof gets nary a mention in most Palms stories today, except as a point of reference. Norm Clarke, a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wrote:
"The Playboy Club's closing night party on Saturday included a buyout for half of the space. The purchase was made by a local VIP who is getting married. 'He said he's closing down two Playboys the club and himself,' said George Maloof, who opened the club near the top of the new Fantasy Tower on Oct. 6, 2006, when the economy was raging. It was the first Playboy Club opening in 25 years."
The Playboy Club opening got a lot of ink back then and was Exhibit A that the Maloof boys were riding high. The club's opening furthered a myth that the Maloofs were "players."
Well, there are players and then there are players.
Also in October 2006, the Kings began the first of what is now six straight losing seasons under Maloof ownership.
That was the same time period in which the Maloofs blew up a downtown arena deal the first time. It was also about the time that they made a hamburger commercial touting their net worth at $1 billion after refusing to pledge any of their own money toward a new Kings arena.
You know what else happened in October 2006? Eric Musselman, the coach the Maloofs went wild over after disparaging the excellent Rick Adelman, was arrested in Sacramento on suspicion of DUI after coaching his first Kings game.
So, the Playboy Club is one of the last in the Maloofs' house of cards to tumble since October 2006.
Sadly for Sacramento, the last card the Maloofs hold, aside from their Wells Fargo stock, is the Sacramento Kings.
Because of this, I've barely been able to watch the NBA playoffs. It's simply too nauseating.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, the Western Conference entry in the NBA Finals, are everything the Kings could never be under the Maloofs.
They are a small-market team run efficiently and intelligently by local owners who are successful in business and have the means to compete.
Oh, and their coach? His name is Scott Brooks. Do you know where he used to work?
The Sacramento Kings.
Brooks is a Lathrop boy, raised in the San Joaquin Valley. My colleague Aileen Voisin once did great features on Brooks' family and the carwash they ran nearby.
Brooks is earnest, tough minded, solid. In other words, he's not the Maloofs' kind of guy.
Instead, the Maloofs hired Reggie Theus the glamour boy ex-King with the dazzling smile.
We all know how that turned out. Brooks is now in the big-time, while Theus got fired and slipped into obscurity.
When I see Brooks on my TV screen in big games now, my first thought is: Wow, the Maloofs thought Theus was better than him.
Back to the Palms.
The lead in the recent Casino City Times story read, "Joseph Magliarditi is finishing his first year at the helm of The Palms Casino Resort on a positive note."
Meanwhile, the former Arco Arena is a dump that sits empty on most days this summer. The building is faded and disheveled.
What can you do but shake your head and wish that Joseph Magliarditi owned the Kings, too?