The sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group led by Tibco Software Inc. (TIBX) founder Vivek Ranadive was completed for a National Basketball Association-record $534 million, ending the 14-year ownership of the Maloof family.
The price, announced in a news release from the Maloofs, was $84 million more than the previous NBA record that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the Golden State Warriors in July 2010.
“We congratulate Vivek Ranadive and the entire Sacramento investor group for their willingness to come forward and purchase the franchise for the people of Sacramento,” George Maloof said in a statement “We are confident they will provide the stewardship necessary to continue to guide the organization to successful levels.”
Coach Keith Smart, 48, was fired after amassing a 48-93 record during his two years with the Kings, Ranadive said. Smart became the team’s 24th coach when Paul Westphal was dismissed Jan. 5, 2012.
“I enjoyed my time immensely in Sacramento,” Smart said in a statement. “From working with the people in basketball operations to the business side of the organization to interacting with the people of the city, it was a pleasure to be around such a classy group.”
Maloof also praised Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts in keeping the team in the California capital.
Today’s announcement ended years of questions about the team’s future. The Maloofs initially failed in attempts to get a new arena built and eventually agreed to sell the club to a group that planned to move the Kings to Seattle. Johnson then put together a bid that included Ranadive, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and former Facebook Inc. executive Chris Kelly. The deal, which includes a plan for a new downtown arena, was completed after the NBA Board of Governors voted not to allow the Seattle bid.
Ranadive is a native of Mumbai and the league’s first Indian-born owner. He previously held a minority stake in the Warriors.
The Maloofs, whose ownership of the Kings was the lengthiest in the franchise’s 65-year history, owned 65 percent of the team.
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