The Maloof family officially gained a controlling interest of the Sacramento Kings and Arco Arena from Jim Thomas.
The NBA Board of Governors approved the ownership change on May 7 and it went into effect Thursday. The Albuquerque family, headed by brothers Joe and Gavin Maloof, already has been exerting control over the franchise.
"This is a very exciting day for the Maloof family," Joe Maloof, president of the Maloof Cos., said during a signing ceremony in Los Angeles. "We are proud to rejoin the NBA family."
The Maloof family, which owned the Houston Rockets from 1979 to 1982, purchased a one-quarter interest in the Kings last year for $37.5 million, with an option to purchase the rest of Thomas' 53% interest within five years.
Thomas is a Los Angeles-based developer who purchased the team in 1992.
The Maloof family owns the Fiesta Casino Hotel in North Las Vegas, Nev.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says the "Field of Dreams" axiom might just work in wooing an NBA franchise to the gambling capital and rejuvenating downtown's Glitter Gulch.
Goodman will head a committee to study possible construction of a sports arena in the downtown area and efforts to land a NBA franchise.
"I think this could be the beginning of transforming downtown into the city of the millennium," Goodman said.
Goodman won election to a four-year term last month on a Populist platform that included rebuilding a downtown area that has taken a back seat to the booming Las Vegas Strip.
He used the "Field of Dreams" axiom--"If you build it, they will come"--to suggest support for an arena.
"Historically, if you build the arena, they [professional clubs] will knock each other out on the way to come to it," Goodman said.
Mirage Resorts Inc. chairman Steve Wynn met with 100 business and civic leaders Wednesday to announce the results of a survey showing Las Vegans would support a sports stadium and performing arts center. The same survey showed residents would support an NBA or NHL team if local interests were able to obtain a franchise.
Wynn said any sports team was likely to lose money, and local hotel-casino owners didn't need to own a team as an ego trip. Still, he said he wanted to gauge local support for such a team. He said he had met with NBA Commissioner David Stern and some club owners to determine their interest in a local franchise.
Chris Childs of the New York Knicks had arthroscopy on his right knee to clear loose cartilage. He is expected to be fully recovered by the time training camp opens in the fall.