In the latest twist in the ongoing saga of the Sacramento Kings potential move to Seattle, NBA Commissioner David Stern said Thursday the only thing he knows for sure is the league hasn’t received a purchase and sale agreement from either the owners of the Kings or investor Chris Hansen.
“We assume if one were going to be executed, the next thing they would do is submit it to us.”
Stern publicly spoke about the situation for the first time since reports broke last week the owners of the Kings had reached agreement to sell the team to Hansen and a move to Seattle was imminent.
At a news conference in London, Stern addressed reports Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson would be allowed to present a counter offer before a deal is done.
“There’s been lots of speculation. The Mayor of Sacramento has asked me, ‘Well if this comes to pass because we have been reading it in the newspapers,’ and he knows that anything he reads in the newspapers is likely to be accurate, ‘could I come in and address the board of governors for the Relocation Committee.’ And I said, ‘Always. Communities that have supported us, and many that haven’t, but Sacramento has been particularly supportive, are always welcome to present.’ The mayor has been in before.”
Stern also confirmed he’s had meetings with both Seattle officials and Hansen about the NBA’s possible return.
“The answer to that is yes. The mayor of Seattle came in some time ago and told us that he was in favor of having a team. We always entertain mayors even from cities that don’t have teams. And Chris Hansen, we understand to be a perspective builder of a building there, who has acquired land, has been in to have talks with us.”
While he spoke about the reports, Stern offered no insight into what actually might be going on behind the scenes, or whether he has real knowledge of potential agreements.
“We are more or less in a series of communications but right now we don’t know anything in terms of actionable plans.”