A minority owner of the Sacramento Kings is imploring Oracle CEO and multi-billionaire Larry Ellison to buy a controlling interest in the basketball team and prevent its move from the city.
Bob Cook, who owns 7 percent of the team, said he asked a San Francisco sports attorney he declined to name to contact Ellison to see if he would be interested in investing in the team and meeting with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star who is trying to keep the Kings in the city.
Although Cook said he believes he asked the attorney to make the inquiries last Friday, the attorney told him on Wednesday that he still hadn’t reached Ellison, hailed by Forbes magazine as the third richest American.
“I know he is making that effort,” Cook said of the attorney. “I would expect by Monday or Tuesday next week he probably will make contact with him.”
Cook said he thought Ellison “would be a good possibility” to buy the 65 percent interest in the team that is owned by the Maloof family, which has announced a deal to sell the team to a group that would move it to Seattle. “He loves basketball,” Cook said of Ellison, who tried without success to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010 and the New Orleans Hornets in 2011.
Cook said he also met Thursday with Mayor Johnson to discuss his idea and said Johnson “absolutely” reacted favorably to it. Johnson and Ellison could not be reached for comment.
Cook is part of a four-member group that controls 35 percent of the Kings. The others are the Benvenuti family, businessman David Lucchetti and Santa Clara developer John Kehriotis. Cook said members of the group are “trying to get together sometime next week” to discuss the idea of having Ellison involved.