It has been four years since the Sacramento Kings have been in the NBA Playoffs. Since that time, the Kings have consistently been drafting in the top-ten and stockpiling young talent. Despite having one of the worst records in the NBA once again last season, the future looks bright in Sacramento. The Kings have one of the best young point guards in the NBA with Tyreke Evans, they have Jason Thompson, and they just drafted rookie of the year candidate DeMarcus Cousins as well. It might take another year or two, but it looks like the Kings are moving in the right direction.
It’s no secret that the Maloof’s love their basketball and after listening to this interview you can hear the passion in Joe Maloof’s voice. They have had their offers in the past to move the Kings out of Sacramento. However, after listening to this interview it becomes more and more clear that the Kings will be staying in Sacramento and the Maloof’s intend on being there to see this rebuild through all the way.
Joe Maloof joined KHTK in Sacramento with the Rise Guys to talk about the direction that the Kings are headed, how he feels about the starting five, how he feels about the coaching staff that is in place, how tough it is to get the fans back after having a bad team in the last three years, whether or not he has had cities approach them about the Kings, what he thinks of DeMarcus Cousins, and talks about how tough it was to have to give up the Houston Rockets.
On the lack of attendance and how that could hurt the possibility of a new arena:
“We’ve gotta concentrate on getting fans back into Arco. That’s our number one goal and our number one objective. We’ve gotta get people back in there to watch these games. I think they got a little disenchanted with the team we’ve had. We haven’t had a good team, we’ve had a very bad team the last three years. As most people know these things go in cycles. You’re gonna have some good years and some not so good years. That’s why I feel very good that we’re on our way back this year. With the talent we have we can really make some noise in the West.”
On being approached by other cities:
“I think anytime you have one of these and there’s only 30 in the world, you’re gonna have cities approach you and try and get that franchise to their city. It just happens and it’s happened throughout the past 10 or 11 years that we’ve owned it. I’m sure more cities will come in the future but we’re concentrating on trying to get it fixed here in Sacramento.”
On how tough it was to sell the Rockets:
“Yes. Yes. We sold the Rockets and the next day we were on the road looking for another NBA team. It was really a void in our hearts. We loved that team. My dad passed on and we had to make a move that financially it was the right way to go. We had to sell that team, but we’ll never sell this team. We love it too much.”
On how tough it is for a team like Sacramento to build a roster:
“It almost gets to a point where you have to hit a homerun. It’s very difficult to compete when you’re not filling up that arena. That’s the problem. You have to be able to get the fans in and it’s a catch 22. We made the decision to build through the draft and that’s what we’ve done. We’re gonna try and take a page out of Oklahoma City’s book. They’ve done a fantastic job in their drafts and I think Geoff (Petrie) has done a wonderful job with the players he’s brought in. If you go up and down our roster and look at other team’s rosters you’re gonna see why we’re all so excited. It’s hard to find a big man I’d rather have than DeMarcus Cousins. Maybe (Pau) Gasol for a while, but outside of that I think Cousins is going to be the best center in the league some day.”