Stern On Seattle, Sacramento, Relocation

During an interview with Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune, NBA commissioner David Stern acknowledged behind-the-scenes efforts to bring the NBA back to Seattle. Here are the highlights from the interview:

  • "Everyone says to us, ‘Well, would you consider going back [to Seattle]?’" Stern said. "Of course, if they have a building. And so that’s where it’s left. We have no involvement."
  • Stern said there have been "very positive" developments in Sacramento, though the situation is still fluid. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson told Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee that a financing plan for a new $387MM arena in the city is "on track to move forward by March 1st."
  • Stern on Sacramento's plan for the new arena: "Obviously, we certainly have been supportive of Mayor Johnson’s efforts with respect to the building and we sure would like to see that happen. But we cannot guarantee or [assume] it, and we’ll have to deal with the realities as we find them."
  • The futures of professional basketball in Seattle and Sacramento could be linked, since Stern says the NBA doesn't intend to expand beyond 30 franchises in the United States. Relocation would be the only path to a new team for Seattle, with Sacramento and New Orleans seemingly the most at-risk teams.

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