Amidst news of his announced retirement, David Stern was asked questions regarding the push for a new arena in Seattle and the uncertainty in Sacramento. Here are the commissioner’s comments from today’s press conference in New York following the NBA’s Board of Governors’ meetings.
On current climate in Sacramento:
I would say that through a very difficult period of time, the fans and businesses of Sacramento have responded in an extraordinary way. And I think it just goes to my view that Sacramento is a great NBA city and a great potential NBA city. And I would urge them to continue supporting the team and hope that their efforts don’t go unrewarded.
On if he supports the Kings staying in Sacramento without a new arena:
I think over time it is agreed that for the Kings to stay in Sacramento, we need a new arena. But right now, we’re happy to have the Kings in Sacramento with the Sleep Train Arena.
On where Seattle might get it’s NBA team:
I don’t have any current view on where such a team comes from. We deal with a lot of cities. Seattle happens to be another great city. We’ve dealt with everything from Kansas City to Virginia Beach to Pittsburgh, Columbus, Louisville – all cities of the certain type who would very much like to be considered for an NBA franchise. Anaheim, Vancouver, Las Vegas. So Seattle is very much in the mix.
My guess is by the time all of that gets decided, Commissioner Silver will have a really interesting issue on his plate. Together with Chariman Holt. Glen Taylor and I, I think we’re gonna be in Naples, Fl. playing tennis and golf.
But no, we think this it is a great development in Seattle. And we’re excited about it. But there is no current team in play and that’s going to be an issue for the owners have to consider.
On whether expansion is a possibility for Seattle:
What I would say is I wouldn’t preclude it. We have something a relocation committee that is going to have on its list of authorities to focus on, consider and report to the board on whether expansion is recommended or not.