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The first day of the NBA Board of Governors meetings are in the books and there still is no resolution about the future of the Sacramento Kings and whether or not they are headed to Seattle.
Despite being a relatively slow day, Portland TrailBlazers owner Paul Allen made some news last night when he was asked about the future of the Kings.
"I think in general there's some feeling that if there's good fan support and there's good political support sufficient to have a state of the art facility, that's more than enough reason to keep a franchise in the same place."
Now, once people in Seattle heard those comments, you can imagine the panic that set in because it seems to suggest that Allen would prefer to have the Kings remain in Sacramento.
However, Allen went on to say..."Steve Ballmer is a very good friend of mine and I think he would make a great owner. I reserve my final decision."
Now, flash forward to today in New York City. As I was sitting on the sidewalk outside of the St. Regis hotel, where the board of governors meeting was taking place (15 hours in fact!!) I had just finished up filing a report when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said "950 KJR", when I turned around to see who it was, it was Peter McLoughlin, the president of the Seahawks, Sounders and First & Goal. McLoughlin had recognized the mic flag I was holding and started up a conversation. He was in town to represent Allen at the meetings.
When we started talking I asked about the comments that Allen made and whether or not it signaled a lack of support for Seattle?
"Paul has said it was a sad day when the NBA left Seattle, I know that's how he feels. Having a team in Seattle represents a great opportunity for a rivalry with the Portland TrailBlazers, we've been supportive of that process," said McLoughlin.
Now, to me, that comment from Allen's close confidant, doesn't sound like an owner that wants to block a Kings sale to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.
When I pressed McLoughlin further on this and asked him if he envisions Allen voting no in the sale of Hansen and Ballmer, he replied "I don't see that occurring, no."
Before the interview wrapped up I asked him about expansion and he said he didn't know of any expansion plans. But, before I let him go, I just wanted him to comment one more time on if he has a sense that Allen would say no to Hansen and Allen.
"I don't get that sense."
To be fair I don't think many of us thought that Allen would vote no to Hansen and Ballmer, but it was good to get those comments from McLoughlin, after the comments that Allen made yesterday which caused all kinds of panic in Seattle.
Most owners didn't have much to say on Thursday about the whole process. Joe Lacob of the Golden State Warriors was really the only owner that talked to the entire press and he noted that he had seen both proposals, but wouldn't elaborate on them.
Asked about the well being of Sacramento, Lacob said "Sacramento has been a longstanding team and over many years has done very well."
Lacob also responded to the length of the process and how long it's taken and that both cities would like a resolution soon.
"I'm sure they'd like to get a decision quickly, but I think everyone must make the right decision."
Spencer Hawes Shows Up
One of the stranger events on Thursday was when former University of Washington player and Seattle native Spencer Hawes, who plays for the Sixers, got out of a car in front of the hotel and was headed inside before he was stopped by the media.
Hawes said it was just a coincidence that he showed up at the same hotel where the board of governors meetings were taking place. He said he was here on vacation and didn't know until the last second that they were taking place at the same hotel he was staying at. But, when he found out that the meeting was at his hotel, he sported a green and gold Sonics hat and didn't hold back on what he wants to happen.
"I've said where my heart (Seattle) lies from the beginning. I grew up there, grew up a SuperSonics fan."
Asked what the return of the NBA would mean to Seattle, Hawes said it would be incredible.
"I think it would be great for the city and great for the community. It's a basketball community, and it's been for a while and I think everyone is excited about that."
Finally, the best line of the night was turned in by New Orleans owner Tom Benson. As he was leaving the building, myself and Chris Daniels of King 5 spotted him and rushed over for a few comments, which were brief, but he delivered a gem when he was asked about how it's going.
"Just getting into the meat and coconuts."
Now, I'm sure he meant to say "meat and potatoes", but, "meat and coconuts" sound so much better - and I intend on using that phrase from now on.
That's all for tonight, I'll talk to you tomorrow when the meetings wrap up and a press conference will be held sometime in the afternoon here. The NBA public relations staff tell us that the media room at the hotel will open up at 12pm eastern/9am pacific. But, no telling what exact time the David Stern press conference will be.
Good night, and good luck....#Murrow...sorry, I had to use that.