Loeb & Loeb media and entertainment partner Scott Zolke, who was representing the Maloofs at the time, did not respond to a call seeking comment about whether his firm is still advising the Maloofs.
Dorso, now managing partner of his own specialty firm the Pioneer Law Group, says that although it looks dire for the Kings chances to remain in Sac-town, he is confident that news of a possible move to Seattle will motivate local leadersincluding Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who once starred in the NBAto strike a deal.
"Right now the community and business folks are putting their heads together to figure out what the next steps are," says Dorso, noting that he is receptive to getting involved again in the effort to save the Kings. "The Kings are an important asset to the community and are absolutely worth fighting for."
Unfortunately for Sacramento, it isn't the only city ready to battle for an NBA franchise. The Am Law Daily reported last year on a handful of Am Law 200 firms advising on a $490 million deal to build a new sports arena in Seattle designed to lure an NBA or National Hockey League team to the Pacific Northwest.
The Emerald City lost its former NBA franchise, the SuperSonics, after a brief litigation battle in 2008 when the team moved to Oklahoma City and changed its name to the Thunder. (Seattle revisited the painful split last year when the Thunderled by NBA superstar Kevin Durantlost to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised the NBA on a $75 million settlement with the city of Seattle under which the city retained the Sonics' name in exchange for dropping its opposition to the relocation of the franchise to Oklahoma City. Seattle was represented on the agreement by K&L Gates, which is now serving as bond counsel to King CountySeattle is the county seatin connection with the new arena construction deal.
Ballmer, whose name was mentioned four years ago as a prospective buyer for the Sonics, is now part of the Hansen-led group of investors seeking to buy the Kings. Under the terms of the tentative transaction, the Kings would take the old Sonics name and play in the team's former home at KeyArena until a new facility is complete.
A team of lawyers from Covington led by corporate partners Douglas Gibson, Bruce Wilson, and Peter Zern are advising the Hansen-Ballmer group on its negotiations to buy the Kings. All three are veterans of high-profile sports deals, with Wilson and Zern advising billionaire Tom Benson last year on his $338 million purchase of the NBA's New Orleans Hornets, according to our previous reports.
Zern, who has a wide variety of sports industry expertise, has also been busy in recent weeks advising the Big East collegiate athletic conference as it seeks to cope with a series of defections to rival conferences. (This week a group of seven Catholic universities with big-time basketball programs retained Proskauer Rose sports law group cohead Joseph Leccesewho was tapped two years ago to be the firm's youngest-ever chairto assist in their quest to exit the Big East and negotiate their own television broadcast rights deal.)
Daniel Grigsby, chair of the national sports law group at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell in Los Angeles, is also advising the Hansen-Ballmer group in its quest to lure an NBA team to Seattle. Grigsbya longtime outside lawyer to the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and onetime protégé of team general counsel James Perzikis advising the Seattle-based investor group along with local land use and real estate lawyer John "Jack" McCullough of McCullough Hill Leary.