With the sale of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team still in waiting, Significant Sig Gavin Maloof, TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA 1978, is still working hard as ever as vice chairman of Maloof Companies, assisting in all aspects of the family’s business ventures and overseeing all sports and entertainment operations.
In his time with the Kings, Maloof always showcased a tireless work ethic, hoping it would spread throughout the organization, from its workers to the players on the court. He gained valuable experience as president of the Houston Rockets NBA basketball team at the young age of 24. He put together a squad that advanced to the 1981 NBA Finals, the first NBA Finals berth for the organization.
Since working for the Rockets and now guiding the Kings, Gavin says leading by example has been very effective in the basketball business.
“[In the Kings organization, I think me being a mentor for my employees] is very important. My employees will follow my lead,” Maloof says. “If you have the right person running the operation, great things happen. What you learn in life and business is 99.9 percent management. You need a good product; that’s important as well, but [a company’s success is about] who is running the company. You need the right person [in charge of] running the company, and you need the right product.”
Maloof says that his success in business is related to what he learned from his mentors, who are his parents. His father, George J. Maloof Sr., passed away in 1980, and his mother, Colleen Maloof, instilled precious values in Gavin at a young age. He began working at 10 years old, sweeping warehouses and loading trucks for the family’s beverage distribution business.
“My father told us, ‘You are going to have to work for everything you get. You are not going to be handed anything,’ ” Gavin says. “We understand what [our employees go] through because we were there once. [My brothers and I] were blue-collar guys just working in the warehouse. So we understand people and I think that is one of our big strengths.”
As everyone in Sacramento, Calif., waits for what will happen regarding the Kings, the Maloof family continues operating the family business while also spreading its wealth in the form of charitable donations to many sources, including the Catholic Church and various children’s hospitals.
“We’ve been in business 100 years as a family,” Gavin says. “We're proud of that — that we are still around and doing well. We are a family that stays together, works together. We’re friends.”