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NBA Commissioner David Stern said at a press conference he could see Seattle with an NBA team within five years. (AP photo)
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David Stern says he could see a team in Seattle within five years

NBA commissioner David Stern is sounding upbeat about the possibility of the league returning to Seattle. And from the sounds of things, he's not ruling out an expansion franchise.

At a news conference in Milan, Italy where the NBA is kicking off a European tour, Stern was asked by a reporter if there was a chance of an expansion team being approved to play in Seattle within the next five years.

"The answer is there seem to be plans moving along for a new arena in Seattle. There was general agreement in the past that Seattle needed a new arena. And it would be my hope that within the time frame that you mentioned, five years, that if everything works out perfectly there would be a new arena and a new team in Seattle. That's always for the NBA Board of Governors but I know that many Governors are favorably inclined," Stern said.

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The Seattle City Council last month approved a revised agreement with investor Chris Hansen to build a new arena in the SoDo neighborhood. The King County Council must also approve the plans.

The proposal must also pass an environmental review and an NBA team must be secured before the arena can break ground.

Follow Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com

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NBA Commissioner David Stern on Seattle's chances

Monday, Oct 8, 2012

David Stern says he could see a team in Seattle within five years
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