If the Maloofs reach a deal that keeps the Kings in Sacramento, will you forgive them?

Leading Off: Maloofs have chance to salvage reputation

Published: Friday, May. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 5, 2013 - 2:48 pm

Dear Joe:

Since you haven't returned my recent texts, I figured I might be able to reach you and Gavin in a public letter.

You claim to love Sacramento and your years as a Kings owner – it sure seemed you loved each standing ovation you got – but your reputation has taken hit after hit since you guys quietly made that deal to sell to a group that intends to move the team to Seattle.

But you can still try to make amends. Not everyone will forgive and forget, but it's certainly worth a try – if you truly do care about Sacramento.

Accept a deal with Vivek Ranadive and the Sacramento group, even if it's not for quite as much money. Quietly send that "nonrefundable" $30 million deposit back to Chris Hansen, because you really shouldn't keep it if the team doesn't move to Seattle, right?

Then go to New York for the NBA board of governors meeting May 15, tell your fellow owners that you want to sell to the Sacramento group, offer to help ensure a smooth transition and publicly pledge to help Seattle get a team.

Come back to Sacramento and hold a news conference to tell Kings fans that this is what you really wanted, for the team to stay, that you were frustrated by how badly things had turned in recent years.

Then imagine opening night at Sleep Train Arena this fall: You and Gavin at center court with Mayor Kevin Johnson and the new ownership group, hands raised as the applause grows and grows.

One final standing ovation. Then get the heck out of town.

Today's poll

If the Maloofs reach a deal that keeps the Kings in Sacramento, will you forgive them?

• Yes

• No

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Thursday's poll results

Which major men's pro sports league would be most accepting of an openly gay athlete?

• MLB: 40%

• NBA: 47%

• NFL: 4%

• NHL: 9%

Total votes: 123

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

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