Stern won't meet with Mayor Johnson over All-Star weekend

Stern won't meet with Mayor Johnson over All-Star weekend
February 16, 2013, 5:45 pm
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NBA Commissioner David Stern hasn't, and doesn't plan to meet with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during All-Star weekend. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

HOUSTON -- "I don't see any scenario where both cities are happy."

They were the words of NBA Commissioner David Stern, addressing the proposed relocation of the Kings from Sacramento to Seattle. But there wasn't much of an update when he and deputy commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media for close to thirty minutes inside the Toyota Center.

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The NBA has applications in hand to transfer ownership of the team from the Maloofs to the group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, and to relocate the team to Seattle. The Relocation Committee and Advisory Finance Committee are teaming up to debrief the applications before presenting them to the NBA Board of Governors in its April 18 meeting.

The NBA is expecting to receive a counter-proposal, complete with a new arena plan, from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. It is due before March 1.

But Stern hasn't, and doesn't plan to meet with Johnson during All-Star weekend. The Commissioner is very much removed from the relocation, happily leaving it to the process.

"This is a good time to be a commissioner and not an owner," Stern said. "I think the owners are going to have a tough issue to decide. I don't believe it's going to come down to economics. Strictly about what the owners decide."

Hope is not lost for the river city, as Stern said it is certainly plausible for Johnson to put together a counter-proposal that the NBA Board of Governors appreciates.

Stern was also asked if the NBA would consider adding an expansion team in Sacramento if the Kings moved, but it was a subject he was not ready to discuss.

Stern, who kept a room packed with media members waiting seven minutes before taking the stage, offered an unsolicited statement regarding the status of the Kings proposed move, but it was still the most popular topic among follow-up questions. The next most asked question concerned the NBA's international expansion.

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Next year's All-Star Game will be played in New Orleans, but the NBA has received only two application for the 2015 All-Star Game. Those have come from the Barclays Center (Brooklyn Nets) and Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks).

Silver said it is likely the 2015 All-Star Game will take place in one of those arenas.

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This is Stern's final year presiding over the All-Star Game. Next year he will pass the baton to Silver.

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