In a press conference today at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings, commissioner David Stern introduced new Hornets owner Tom Benson and addressed a number of other topics. Here are a few highlights, with all links going to Twitter:
- Stern called Benson the "perfect owner" for the Hornets.
- The board formally approved the Nets' move to Brooklyn and the name change to the Brooklyn Nets.
- Advertising on jerseys was discussed, but is unlikely to go anywhere before next season.
- Stern viewed the Kings' arena agreement as non-binding and said it was fair for the Maloofs to back out. He wishes they'd made that decision a little sooner, since it could have saved "a lot of angst and trouble," but he's very protective of their rights as owners to make the decision they did.
- Stern is "hopeful" but "not optimistic" about the talks between Sacramento and the Kings, saying that there was nothing more the league could do. J.A. Adande of ESPN.com notes that the commissioner seemed to be using the past tense a lot in discussing the arena situation.
- While he was respectful of the Kings' owners, Stern used the term "ill grace" frequently when discussing the Maloofs' economist, who argued the arena plan would put Sacramento in dire financial straits. The commissioner added that he believes the Maloofs when they say they want to keep their team in Sacramento, but refused to speculate on whether the Kings would remain in the city past next season.
- Stern's future as commissioner was not discussed with the Board of Governors.