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Stern: Nothing Wrong with Sacramento's Offer

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, April 19, 2013
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Contradicting criticism from opponents of a Sacramento investor group's bid to buy the Kings and keep them from moving to Seattle, NBA Commissioner David Stern says there is nothing wrong with the Sacramento group's offer.

"I think it's not as complete as it probably is going to be by the close of business today or tomorrow," Stern told reporters at a news conference following three days of NBA owners meetings at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.  But he said the Sacramento group's offer is "in the same ballpark" financially as the offer from the Seattle group.

"There is a down-payment," Stern said.  "It is binding.  We have had assurances of funding support and that has been documented to something in the neighborhood of 80 percent to our satisfaction."NBA Commissioner David Stern says there is nothing wrong with the offer from the investor group seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep them from moving to Seattle.
Stern's comments came moments after the Associated Press obtained a seven-page letter from the Kings' current majority owners, the Maloof family, ripping the Sacramento group's offer and asking NBA owners to approve the deal the Maloofs have reached with the Seattle group.

The league's joint finance/relocation committee will meet again late next week to make a recommendation.  Under NBA bylaws, a final vote from the Board of Governors would need to take place at least seven business days later.  Thus, Stern reiterated that the team's fate will likely be decided in early May.
Asked about potential expansion - an outcome that would allow both cities to have an NBA team - the commissioner said it wasn't discussed at all and said it was not being considered as a way out of this predicament.  "I haven't heard that in any way, shape or form, particularly when we don't know at this time what the next television network contract would be."

Stern indicated the prospect of expansion is a long-term issue and would be dealt with by his successor, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, when Stern retires next year.

Stern praised the investor groups from both cities and repeatedly spoke of how tough and unprecedented this situation is.  "
Seattle is a very strong market, and in fact has gotten stronger and more growth‑oriented than when the NBA left," he said.  "But there is another city involved.   So I think that the owners are probably individually wrestling with the degree to which the Sacramento incumbency deserves consideration as well.

here's going to be a disappointed city one way or the other."
Sacamento Kings supporters assemble in front of the hotel where the NBA meetings are taking place (photo credit: Ben Adler)
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