By Mary Buckheit
Special to Page 2
Ahh, the Maloofs -- a suave, sport-smart, business-savvy, sexy and single band of billionaire brothers. Their empire consists of an NBA franchise, Coors breweries, a bunch of banks, a new sports and entertainment network and one of the hottest hotel casinos in Vegas. How would you like to have your family reunions at The Palms' "Skin Bar"? Yeah, it beats that state park picnic you're planning.
With all this in mind, Page 2's Mary Buckheit couldn't wait to catch up with the brotherly bachelors, BUT, for whatever reason, payroll wouldn't clear her business trip to the Vegas strip.
Knowing that back in 1999 brothers Joe and Gavin dropped a cool 240 million bucks for ownership of the Sacramento Kings and the WNBA's Monarchs, she mused that they might have a little pocket change leftover. Despairingly, she called them collect, on tenterhooks for a connection. Sure enough, the generous guys were willing to accept the charges and entertain a rigorous Ten Burning Questions. How'd they handle the exchange? Well, as always, Joe and Gavin were thinking big and moving fast but Mary was quick to remind them that the house always wins.
1. First things first. Give me the insider casino scoop. How can I leave Vegas with something in my pocket?
Gavin: In a word, "discipline."
Joe: Here it is Mary. I've got the answer for you. There is going to be a time when you get onto a blackjack table or a crap table or a baccarat table and you get hot. Whenever you get on a hot streak -- and you will, everyone does -- this is where you have to make your move. Bet more. The only way you are ever going to beat the casino is to bet more when you are hot.
You got to go for the jugular vein.
Right then, as you start winning you have to increase your bet. When you're losing, you've got to bet less until you start to feel it turning your way and then you lay the wood to them. Kick the house while they're down.
Right in the pants!
There you have it folks. Don't blame Joe Maloof if you walk out the door down.
Take my advice and you should have some cash burning a hole in your pocket.
2. The clichés are crap, right? Money CAN buy love and happiness, can't it?
Joe: Well, I'll tell ya -- well, actually, I better be careful here -- how do I want to say this? Sometimes people will tell you that money is the root of all-evil ... but others believe lack of money is the root of all evil.
To which school of thought do you belong?
Joe: Well, we have a wonderful life. We've both been blessed. We're very lucky and very happy. So you be the judge.
Gavin, can money buy happiness?
Gavin: No ... but it can put you in a very good bargaining position.
I know you enjoy the finer things ... but don't you ever just want to eat at Denny's or Burger King or something?
Joe: Sure! Two of my favorite places to eat in Sacramento are Carl's Jr. and McDonalds. I'm there at least twice a week!
Joe: It binds us all together!
It's the Matrix!
Joe: Everybody loves it.
What would you do if you woke up one morning and all the money was gone?
Gavin: You know, I've often thought about that. The other day actually, I was wondering what I would do if I wasn't the boss. Who would I be if I I wasn't who I was. I think I'm pretty good at selling stuff, I think I could be a car salesman or a sell real estate or something like that. Or otherwise, I could get a job in marketing or advertising or something like that. I think I could cut it there on those fronts. I don't know. It would be interesting.
3. If I went to your house right now and opened up the fridge, what would I find?
Gavin: Diet Pepsi, Coors, and some fruit.
Joe: Coors Light ... uhhh ... Corona. Milk. Popsicles. Mustard and ketchup.
Joe: Honest! That's what I have in there. That's about it, though.
That's ok, you got the four basics. Import. Domestic. Condiments. Dairy.
Joe: That's right. Life's necessities.
Do you guys do your own shopping?
Gavin: I do my own clothes shopping. Not food shopping, though.
Joe: I used to, but I don't anymore, I got an assistant that does that for me now. It's hard! I just don't have time!
Have you ever shopped at Target or Walmart?
Gavin: Yeah, I've been there. I've been in Walmart once or twice.
What did you buy?
Gavin: Geez, I don't know, it was such a long time ago. I'm not sure what I would have gone in there for.
4. What can the NBA learn from Vegas about how to make people happy?
Joe: Well, hey, I think this year is going to be the most exciting year in the NBA of recent history.
Why do you say that?
Joe: You've got the impact of LeBron James, number one. The anticipation of what the Lakers will do by adding Payton and Malone, number two. What will come of Minnesota adding Sprewell and Cassell, number three. You got San Antonio defending their title, number four. And of course, you've got the Kings. There is a lot going on in the NBA this year.
Joe: Well the Kings fans are always jazzed up. I promise they will have another exciting product on the court.
Do you have a favorite Kings player?
Joe: Nope. I love 'em all.
Ahh. You're such a dad.
Joe: That's right, It's like picking a favorite child. They're all different, but we love 'em. I just love the Kings! I just love our players. We have a great group of guys. We really do, I'm not just saying this. They get along in the locker room, out of the locker room. They work hard together, they have fun together, they go out together. I think we really have a closeness that no other team in the league has.
If you could be one NBA player for a night, who would you choose?
Gavin: I'd love to be Chris Webber for just one night.
5. Are you ever afraid you are going to look over and see Vlad smoking on the bench?
Joe: No! Some games, I'm nervous they are going to look over and see ME lighting up! I gotta quit. I'm trying to, but it's so tough. I know where Vlade's coming from. Only smokers understand!
How many packs do you guys go through a day?
Joe: Oh man. Between the both of us?! I don't know about him, but I know that just speaking for me, the answer is "too many."
Do you guys sneak out the back door at halftime together for a quick puff?
Joe: Not yet, but lemme tell you, we've come close!
6. If you went head-to-head with Mark Cuban in a wrestling match, who wins?
Gavin: I don't know. He's a big guy. He could probably beat either one of us.
How bout a tag-team. Two on one?
Gavin: Oh yeah, if it were both of us, we could probably take him down.
Joe: I think I could beat Mark in a free throw shooting contest.
What about one-on-one?
I don't know.
You better quit smoking Joe.
I know, his lungs could probably take mine to the hole.
7. Which one of your fellow NBA owners could most use a visit from the Queer Eye guys?
Joe: Umm, probably -- well I don't know, those guys could probably help all of us.
Oh c'mon! You're holding out on me! It's Cuban isn't it?!
Joe: No, no! I didn't say that! Ha ha. We could all use a few tips!
I know you and your brothers are all pretty chic. Who gets the most ladies?
Gavin: That's a tough call. We're neck and neck.
Joe: Yeah, it's a toss up. We do ok.
Who's the best wingman of the brothers?
Joe: Probably me.
Like a loyal dog, that wingman.
Gavin: That's Joe.
So you're ladies' men. But who has more groupies -- you or Peja?
Gavin: Oh, definitely Peja. No contest.
Well you're all pretty single. Would you ever go on "The Bachelor" to find a wife?
Joe: No, not me.
Gavin: No, not if you're playing for forever!
You're not a commitment guy, Gavin?
Well, I will be someday - but not yet!
Joe you'd never do a reality TV series? C'mon! The Osbournes, Newlyweds ... America needs the Maloof brothers!
Gavin: We've actually been approached by a bunch of networks about that. We've looked into some options.
Joe: Listen, there's only one problem with that. Our mom would be watching that stuff. I'm a little nervous about what she would think. There are only two people in this world that I'm scared of ... my mom and my sister. I respect them so much. I wouldn't want to let them down.
8. You guys were nearly Britney Spears' brother-in-laws. What did you think about that hot kiss?
Joe: I nteresting! Haha.
That took you guys awhile.
Joe: I don't know how to describe it!
Gavin: I love Britney. We've hung out with her a bunch of times. She is a really great girl. Whatever she wants, it's fine by me.
What does brother George have to say about that?
Joe: I don't know, I never asked him ... I'm afraid to ask him! Haha.
What? It's taboo? I thought everybody was talking about that at the dinner table?
Joe: Nah, we try to keep our personal selfs to ourselves. I think about it on my own time.
9. I know you guys party pretty hard. Ever get it on with the Hilton sisters?
Gavin: Oh yeah. We love Nikki and Paris. They're closer with our brother George, but they've partied with us at the hotel a bunch of times. They are really great girls. Nice people. We really enjoy their company.
Who's the one partier not even you playboys can keep up with?
Gavin: Dennis Rodman.
He's a whole 'nother animal, eh?
Gavin: You said it. We can't hang with him.
Have you ever managed to get David Stern out on the town with you?
Joe: Yeah, we've had dinner with Dave. We're tight with him.
No, no. I didn't say out to dinner, I want to know if the Commish can hang with you frat boys.
Joe: Well, now, I don't know who's gonna read this. The best thing to do with the Commissioner is have dinner with him and we really enjoy those occasions.
Alright then. Play it safe if you must. How about, if you could invite any three people -- living or dead -- out to dinner with you guys, who would you take?
Joe: Three besides the commissioner?
Yeah, don't worry, we won't tell David he wasn't tops on your list.
Joe: Alright, alright. No. 1 on my list is my dad. I know that's kind of manic but I really do miss my father. I miss him a lot. We loved our dad and I'd do anything to sit down with him again. I'd love to take him out to dinner.
Number two ... Patricia Arquette, my all-time favorite actress. I saw her in a movie called "True Romance". I really appreciated her character and she stayed loyal to her cause and that is very respectable. I just think she is great and I'd like to take her out to dinner.
Oooh. Maybe her sources will see this and pass the word along, Joe.
I gotcha. Don't worry.
Joe: Is she married? I don't even know if she's married. Well, if she is she could even bring her husband, that's how much I like her.
If she's not married you better bring a brother because you'll need a wingman.
Joe: That's right. She's great. Ok, one more. Hmm, I like this question. Hmm. One more. Hmm. I love Patricia Arquette. One more person ... if her husband is a no show that is. Number three would be Joe Willie Namath.
10. Alright, last question. As long as we're all buddy-buddy, when can I come party at The Palms?
Joe: Hey, there is a party at the Palms every night of the week. You have an open invitation. Everybody can come! We will cater to you. That's what the Maloof brothers are for, I think that's why we were put on this earth, to take care of people, to service people, to have a good time and make sure everybody we're with is having fun. If you come to The Palms, you are going to get the red carpet treatment no matter who you are. I can officially promise you that. We'd love to have you.
I'll remember that, Joe.
Ok. Come find me.
You'll be sorry.
Joe: Nah, I'd drop anything for ya.
Except Patricia Arquette.
Joe: Ohh. I do love Patricia Arquette.