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David Stern non-committal on whether NBA would like to keep the Kings in Sacramento

Feb 15, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT


HOUSTON — David Stern gave a bit of a status update on where the potential sale of the Sacramento Kings stands on Thursday, but was non-committal on whether or not he would prefer to keep the team in Sacramento in the event the city comes up with a perfect counter-proposal.

“Right now there’s a contract of sale with Seattle, an application to move, and we’re awaiting Sacramento’s delivery of what Mayor Kevin Johnson says will be a very substantial offer to buy the team, keep it in Sacramento, and build a brand new building,” Stern said, before speaking at an opening ceremony for the All-Star weekend festivities at the George R. Brown Convention center in Houston.

When asked if Mayor Johnson’s offer came through with everything that was being promised if he would prefer to keep the team in Sacramento, Stern didn’t say one way or the other. But he did make sure to point out that the decision wasn’t his to make.

“That’s what I tell the owners, it’s up to them,” Stern said. “That’s why owners exist, not just little old commissioners. This is a subject for the Board of Governors.”

The Board of Governors will meet on April 18, which is the deadline for Johnson to submit his proposal to keep the team in Sacramento. Stern believes the league will receive it before then.

“If the mayor follows through on what he’s told us, we’ll have it comfortably by March 1,” he said.

The commissioner also commented briefly on the Kings’ ownership group’s right of first refusal that was first reported by Aaron Bruski here at PBT.

From Chris Daniels of KING5 TV in Seattle (via Twitter):

Stern said in response to my question on legal issues with#NBAKings deal: “I have a sense the first refusal right will be accommodated…

Stern (cont) “…in some shape or form. I can’t speak about lawsuits against pending buildings or environmental reviews.”

More Stern, to me, on #NBASeattle deal “I’m not expecting something bad from a legal perspective”.

There is obviously a long way to go here between the upcoming proposal from Mayor Johnson and the outcome of any pending or future litigation.

You get the idea, however, that no matter the outcome, the league doesn’t mind having two major media markets clamoring for the ownership of one of its franchises.

“It’s a very good situation to have,” Stern said. “Two world-class cities, in effect, would like to have one team that’s available.”

  1. manchestermiracle - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    For a guy who sticks his nose into everything else, warranted or not, I’m sure he has an opinion on this. He’s just keeping mum in order to extract the largest amount of money from one side or the other.

  2. mogogo1 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Of course he’s noncommittal…we’re talking about a guy who stopped being a leader a LONG time ago and now just goes with the flow as he counts the day until retirement. He stood by and let the Maloofs run the franchise into the ground, let them shop the team around and come to the verge of a sale apparently without ever checking into the fact they were legally obligated to give their minority owners first dibs. (Let that one sink in for a moment: The NBA was CLUELESS concerning ownership stipulations of one of their clubs.) Stern is an embarrassment.

  3. ss3walkman - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    This is an unfortunate situation but I just think the Kings are fighting a war they aren’t going to win.

    If the Kings could match the offer, the Seattle group would just throw more money. Plus Sacramento would have to build a new arena as well.

    Lastly Stern knows he favors the move. Basketball in Seattle is more money for the league. He’s going to step down soon and has made it a personal goal to put a team back in Seattle.

  4. mazblast - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Given how Stern has treated both of these cities, I’m not betting either way right now. In SternWorld, it’s just about which city is to be a farm team/Washington Generals for the franchises he prefers anyway.

  5. kinggw - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Hell no, the NBA doesnt want the Kings in Sacramento. There are a number of good reasons why.

    1. They should’ve never allowed the Sonics to become the Thunder. Clay Bennett played the NBA.

    2. Outside of their brief date with relevance in the late 90’s and early 00’s the franchise has been a joke.

    3. There doesn’t need to be 4 teams in Cali. Between the Clippers and Kings, havent we always known that one of these teams wasn’t long for California? The Clippers happened to get their act together at the right time. It sucks for Kings fans, because there are no other major sports teams in Sacramento.

    4. Bigger market, more than likely equals more money for the league.

    Its a shame that someone had to get screwed, but Seattle deserves a team. Can’t blame Stern for this either. The Maloof’s terrible management of the Kings allowed the Kings and their fans to become victims in this ordeal. Despite their gross negligence these guys are going to come out on top. Pathetic.

    • badintent - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Stern should be a MC, the dude can spin with the best of them.The pile is getting deep.Get the big cranes

  6. Corey Jeppesen - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Stern says its up to the owners, so didn’t the Malloofs already make a decision with Seattle? Lets end this.

  7. ron05342 - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Sacramento is a world-class city?

  8. eugenesaxe - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    “The NBA” (owners) want their share of any relocation fee involved. “The NBA” wants some of that sweet Ballmer/Microsoft involvement (money guaranteeing a stable franchise). Stern’s already said he wants a team in Seattle, and wants this to happen for his personal glory.

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