John Thomas and the Sacramento Kings parted ways on Tuesday March 23 after a long tenure with the organization.
Thomas was president for 10 years and has worked as a major sports executive for more than two decades. Although he was brought on by the Maloof’s when they purchases the team in 1999, they decided his performance as president of business operations was inadequate.
“Ten years is longer than most NBA Presidents get to serve,” said Thomas. “I want to thank the Maloof family and my extended Kings family of co-workers and fans for the privilege.”
The Maloof’s chose to buy out the remainder of Thomas’ contract which had a year left. They also announced that more change would follow as they have taken a more active role as Kings Co-owners.
Thomas’ replacements as president of business operations will former Kings legal consultant Matina Kolokotronis, effective April 2, 2010. John Rinehart will be promoted to senior vice-president of the business department, while outside consultant Kevin Kaplan is expected to take over a larger role in marketing and ticket sales.
The move was a surprise to some but for those within the walls of the organization it was inevitable. Due to Thomas’ lack of creativity when it came to ticket plans. This season the Maloof’s had a larger role in the team’s business aspect allowing different types of ticket packages and reducing prices as the Kings have continued to struggle. The Maloof’s reexamined the way things were being handled late last spring and were able to contact Kaplan early on in the 2010 season.
Kaplan’s entrance was Thomas’ exit but Joe and Gavin Maloof still had good things to say about Thomas, “We want to thank John for everything he has done for us since we came to Sacramento. He’s been an important leader on our team.”