In a statement released by The National Basketball Association this morning, they said:
“The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer. The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board’s committee process for review.”
Sunday night there were reports that the Maloof family had sold the team.
If the deal is approved by the NBA’s board of governors, the team would move to Seattle next season and would be renamed to the Super Sonics, after that franchise left Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008.A sale price wasn’t release, but the entire franchise is believed to be worth around $525 million.
Sacramento officials are vowing to continue moving forward with plans to bring in a rival investor group and make the case for keeping the team in Sacramento.
“When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win,” the mayor said Sunday night in a prepared statement.
There have been a number of suitors eying the Kings over the past year, but nothing has solidified
Arena operator AEG recently committed $59 million to a downtown project to help build an arena. The deal may prove to be a strong argument to keep the team in Sacramento.
Sleep Train Arena is woefully unsuited for an NBA team and has proved lackluster in drawing larger acts to the arena due to their low capacity compared to larger concert venues in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Let the games begin.
Globie, the team mascot, came out before the show to entertain the crowd with a little bit of magic and some dance moves. As Globie set up chairs he had four boys lay flat on their back on the chair seat. Then Globie started pulling out the chairs one by one and you could hear the collective gasp of the crowd as Globie pulled out the last chair, leaving the boys laying on one another without the need for the chairs.
Afterward Globie started strutting around like Michael Jackson as the crowd went wild, with some kids jumping up to dance along with Globie.
Even though the stadium was far from sold out, the audience members made up for it in enthusiasm. Throughout the game the crowd was cheering and clapping for the Globetrotters, with a few boos thrown in for team Elite. At times the cheering was deafening with kids and their parents jumping in to help cheer the team to victory.
As with all Globetrotter games this was an audience participation sport. One couple found out the hard way, with the wife having her purse
taken, but in true Globetrotter style they were kind enough to give her a gift for participating in all the fun and games ““ her purse.
As for her husband, he didn’t fare any better. He was dragged out on the basketball court, or should I say dance floor, as Big Easy convinced him to dance along.
Kids joined in on the fun too, with several young kids competing for a team jersey. The kids were dressed up as if they were headed to bed. Their task was to dash to the other side of the basketball court, shoot a basket, dash back to the start where a makeshift bed awaited them. The first to complete the task won – In the end they all were winners.
Of course the game came down to the wire and with 5 seconds to go on the clock the Globetrotters made a mad dash to score at the last minute just edging out the International Elite.
Some of the Globetrotters were in town earlier last week to visit with fans. You can read all about their visit here.
As is customary, the Globetrotters have had a couple of players in town before the big event on Sunday. They were meeting with television and radio stations in the area, but more importantly they were getting out to meet their fans.
I was able to meet up with “Handles” Franklin and one of their newest members, “TNT” Maddox. TNT is only the ninth woman in 86 years to play with the Globetrotters and the first woman since 1993.
I found the two at the Project R.I.D.E. facility next to Jesse Baker Elementary School in Elk Grove. The two Globetrotters participated in a bit of horseplay “” literally. Project R.I.D.E. offers therapeutic recreational horseback riding instruction to riders with disabilities.
When it came to mounting the horse, I have to give TNT credit. She jumped on as if she did it every day. Handles, on the other hand, was a little timid getting on his horse and looked to be a bit nervous, too.
In between horsing around, TNT talked about what it’s like being one of the few female Globetrotters.
“Honestly, it’s unbelievable to be only the ninth woman in 86 years to play for the Harlem Globetrotters,” she said. “What they’re about is charity, and we’re allowed to go to hospitals, schools and things like that and do things that money can’t buy. That’s something that’s special to me, and I’m happy to be a part of the organization.”
As she talked, she constantly had her basketball in motion, so I asked if she did this while sitting down to watch a little television. She said she has to in order to keep up with the likes of Handles and the rest of the team. Being one of the new kids on the block, the team is continually showing her new moves, so she’s constantly practicing to get up to the caliber of her teammates. Trust me “” she’s already there. After only two weeks of training, she said they had her playing at a junior high school.
As for the rest of the team, it looks like this will be an exciting year with 10 new players.
The 2012 rookie class has a total of three 7-footers including 7-foot-4 Jermaine “Stretch” Middleton, the third-tallest player in team history, and 7-foot Anthony “Biggie” McClain. However, Paul “Tiny” Sturgess towers over even the tallest of the tall at a whopping 7-foot-8.
Sturgess was recently recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest professional basketball player. He is also the tallest player in the Globetrotter history.
Not only do they have the tallest player in their history, but the shortest, too. Jonte “Too Tall” Hall is the shortest Globetrotter ever to play at 5-foot-2.
Other team members you may recognize are “Big Easy” Lofton and “Flight Time” Lang who, together, made their way around the world on CBS’ “The Amazing Race.”
If you’ve never seen the Globetrotters in person, you have to get off your butts and get out to Power Balance this Sunday and take in the 1 or 6 p.m. showing. These guys (and gal) are amazing to watch and extremely entertaining.