commentary + critique

from tamryn spruill

Monarchs Stay Undefeated in Sacramento

Mar 22, 2021

By Tamryn Spruill

When Joe Maloof announced in November 2009 that his family would be surrendering ownership of the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs, he claimed to be “bummed” about the decision and told reporters that the move was necessitated by the ownership group’s need to focus full-throttle on the NBA’s Kings.

“This is our team that won a championship,” Maloof told Aileen Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. “We love the Monarchs. But all of our efforts have to be on getting the Kings back to where they once were, and that takes our full commitment.”

Love, Maloof-style, apparently means forsaking your lone winning franchise for a struggling one, leaving players, coaches, staff and Maloof Sports and Entertainment employees out of work.

The real dagger in the hearts of the players was the timing.


At the time the Maloof family ended the franchise, the Monarchs in 12 seasons had amassed a 224-200 regular-season record and piled on a 24-19 tally in the playoffs.  The year the Monarchs won the WNBA title, the Kings were bounced in the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Seattle SuperSonics. In 2006, when the Monarchs came up five points shy in a heated five-game series of repeating their title reign, the Kings were ejected from the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs (again, in the first round).

The Kings, finishing ninth or lower in the Western Conference standings since their first-round loss to the Spurs in 2006, have not returned to the NBA Playoffs. Even worse, the Kings have not finished above .500 in any season since the Maloofs shut down the Monarchs.

The Kings’ regular-season record between the 2008-09 and 2019-20 NBA seasons, the years since the Maloofs killed off the Monarchs is an embarrassing 335 wins and 623 losses, with no postseason record to report.


Yolanda Griffith, cover girl of the Monarchs’ 2000 season schedule, was named 1999 WNBA MVP, six seasons before her award-winning game helped the team to the 2005 championship. In March, she was announced as a finalist for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.