12:04 AM EDT, April 16, 2012
A spokesman for the Maloof family has released the following statement in response to the comments made by Chris Lehane of Think BIG Sacramento.
“The Maloofs are not going to respond to every comment distributed from political operative Chris Lehane. Chris has never been part of the negotiations and does not know what he is talking about. Wild accusations cannot mask the financial calamity which would have befallen the City of Sacramento had the parties proceeded on a railroad arena project that made no economic sense. The spokesperson for the utility companies who caused the California energy crisis and Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis is apparently now hunting for his next crisis management client,” wrote Eric W. Rose, spokesman for the Maloof family.
Lehane had compared dealing with the Maloofs to diplomatic relations with North Korea in a release on Saturday.
Think BIG later expanded on the statement with an open letter (viewable here) with the stated goals of clarifying facts and offering thoughts on the next steps to take for an arena deal.
The Maloofs were present at the Kings game Sunday, but chose not to address the media at that time. There were rumors that they would address the crowd, but they never spoke.
Mayor Kevin Johnson, who originally launched the Think BIG initiative to lobby for new arena construction, fielded questions about the Kings’ future as he got off the plane coming from the NBA Board of Governors meeting in Manhattan.
George Maloof had made comments to USA TODAY in an article published Saturday that he wasn’t comfortable negotiating with the mayor going forward.
“I don't really have a comment on that. It's very obvious who can't be trusted in this scenario,” Johnson said today about the comments made by Maloof.