David Stern thanked the city of Sacramento, its fans and Mayor Kevin Johnson. But in his press conference on the Board of Governors’ meetings in New York, the NBA commissioner appeared resigned that the proposal to build a new Sacramento arena could be dead.
Below are notes and quotes from Stern addressing the arena situation and after the jump, audio of the commissioner’s comments at the St. Regis Hotel.
- Stern on the deal: “In my view, it was always subject to any party saying they didn’t want to do it. It was always non-binding and I think it’s fair for the Maloofs to say they don’t want to do it. If they had done that a little simpler, a little earlier and a little more directly, it could have saved a lot of angst and trouble.”
- Stern says that the city of Sacramento responded and stepped up to the NBA’s call. “They’ve always supported NBA basketball and couldn’t have supported it in a finer fashion than they did this time. They were prepared under the mayor’s leadership to finance $260 million, (which) is an extraordinary feat and a display of I think dedication.”
- Stern on whether it’s realistic to re-model Power Balance Pavilion. “I don’t know. If they choose to do that, that’s up to them.”
- Stern says that the NBA was going to offer the Kings a $67 million loan and make a contribution of $7 million to the arena project. ” I don’t think we have nothing further to give, to cajole, to yell or all of the various ways that I have tried to keep the parties on track to get what we thought was a win-win development in Sacramento, a new arena as part of that development and a hugely successful franchise.”
- The advisory committee was treated to the same presentation the Maloofs offered this morning to Sacramento media. Stern discussed the Maloofs’ morning presser: “It’s probably not the weirdest press conference we’ve ever had in the NBA. They’re entitled to do that. They’re entitled to have their lawyers do it, they’re entitled to hire economists and the like. But I think it really does come with ill-grace for their economist to play the role he played here. But, I guess that’s your entitlements. You can go out and hire an economist.”
- Did the Maloofs a raise the threat of filing an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA and city? “No one raised any specter. I just was told their lawyer has an antitrust background. But he’s also very capable of using words and presentations, like all laywers are. So I wouldn’t hold his antitrust background against him.”
- Stern on the Kings future in Sacramento “I know we’re scheduling them into Power Balance Pavilion next year and it just wouldn’t pay for me to talk about anything beyond that.” He says that any decision to relocate rests at the discretion and judgement of fellow team owners.
Audio via NBA.com.