David Stern outlines timeline for decision on Sacramento Kings’ future
NEW YORK – The saga continues in the pending sale and possible relocation of the Sacramento Kings. NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver addressed a bevy of questions from media gathered at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Here are the highlights from today’s session with the press.
- Stern outlined the timeline for a decision regarding the Kings’ future. The relocation and finance committees will meet again next week then vote on a recommendation. In two weeks, the entire board will make the final vote on the Kings’ fate.
- According to Stern, the entire board was briefed yesterday on both the Sacramento and Seattle groups’ arena proposals and timelines, as well as “financing and sources of funding”. They spent about two hours discussing the matter.
- The Maloof family was “welcomed partipicants” in the discussions of the Kings’ future. They asked questions, offered observations and made statements on the situation.
- Stern said the Sacramento deal was about 80 percent done as far as documentation of funding and support. However, he also said that Sacramento’s bid is comparable and “in the same ballpark with respect to the net result” to the Maloof family’s deal with the Seattle group.
- According to the commissioner, the Sacramento deal also includes a downpayment and is binding. In a letter to fellow owners urging they allow the sale of the Kings to the Seattle group, the Maloofs have claimed the contrary. They said that it was non-binding and only included a downpayment of $15 million.
- The Maloofs have not signed the offer made by the Sacramento group. However, the committee is “treating it as an offer and a signed offer” according to Stern.
- There’s been plenty of speculation about whether the league is trying to get consensus among owners before a decision is made. Stern said there’s “been no attempt to get unanimity.” More from the commissioner: “There’s only an attempt to get answers to any possible question that various owners have. And then they’ll vote however they vote, period. We’re not there on our own motion or at the direction of any committee or group owners out there trying to get to one result or another.”
- Expansion was not discussed as an option during the meetings. But Stern also said, “I don’t want to say a complete non-starter.” It’s not feasible right now for a number of reasons, including the weight of the next TV contract.
- Stern once again reiterated that though they encourage owners to sell to whomever they want, the NBA holds the final say on relocation. “That is why when a team wants to move, it becomes the province of the board rather than ownership,” Stern said. “That’s why we have this constitutional provision.”
- Much has been said about which city the league prefers in this debate. Deputy commissioner Silver refuted that speculation. “There’s no lobbying or campaigning going on by the league office,” Silver said. “We are presenting the facts in the most full way we can to the owners.” Silver also said that though everyone would like to have resolution sooner, the league “can’t shortcut this this process”.
- A major area of concern for the league continues to be both cities proposed arena projects. Stern said in addition to time spent by he and his staff, “enormous amounts of money on consultants” have been spent to investigate both scenarios.
- Stern admitted for the first time in many years in the league that he doesn’t know the answer to this dilemma. “This is one that’s just been quite difficult and confusing for the owners as well,” Stern said. “We’ve been working very hard to give it a structure at their direction. We’re the staff and we’re trying to answer every question that they have.”