Sad news tonight out of Sacramento as one of the team’s original owners, Joe Benvenuti, has passed away at the age of 91. The Maloof family has released this statement:
“Speaking on behalf of our entire organization, we want to express how deeply saddened we were to hear of Joe’s passing. He was a vital member of the Sacramento Kings family and a pillar in the community for more than 60 years. His vision, entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy combined to serve an integral role in bringing the Kings to Northern California in 1985. He will be greatly missed and forever hold an endearing place in the hearts and minds of those who have had the fortune of knowing him. Joe’s contributions to the Kings over the team’s 27 seasons in Sacramento cannot be overstated.”
Benvenuti, along with Gregg Luckenbill helped purchase the Kings and move the franchise to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985. While he had sold off much of his interest in the club, he retained a minority ownership stake in the team at the time of his death.
For more on this story, please read this piece by Robert Davila of the Sacramento Bee.