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Just got done listening to the press conference again from NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. Instead of rehashing what I posted earlier, I think I'll just pass along some of the quotes that stood out to me.
Many of us have talked about expansion and whether or not if Seattle's offer were turned down, would the league offer expansion? Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times brought that subject up to commissioner Stern.
"I don't want to say a complete non-starter. If the question is, was there any talk of expansion (in the meetings), the answer is no."
You see it's very confusing because Stern is talking out both sides of his mouth. On one hand he says expansion is a topic, but it's not really a topic...confusing to say the least.
When Condotta pressed him again on if expansion would be a solution to the mess that the NBA has created: "I haven't heard that in any shape or form."
One of the more highly entertaining aspects of the press conference was the testy little back and forth between Stern and King 5 reporter Chris Daniels. Stern bristled at a question from Daniels about whether or not he was working behind the scenes to secure that the Kings stay in Seattle.
"At the end of the day the committee will have to take a vote and decided what to do. So I don't understand your questions and where it would come from."
Stern went on to reiterate that it's not up to the Maloofs to move the team. They can sell to who they want, but it's up to the owners on destination.
"Each team owns its team in its market."
Despite his denial that he's working behind the scenes for Sacramento, many have suggested, even national reporters, that, in fact, Stern is working behind the scenes for Sacramento. However, it did not prevent him from praising the Seattle group.
"The Seattle group has done a lot of work. It's well funded. It's got spectacular business men - who support the community behind it."
When it was my turn to ask questions I wanted to know from Stern on how the people of Seattle and the Hansen/Ballmer group could ever trust the NBA again if they walk away from this deal.
"We can only do, what we do, and tell you transparently what we do. And, I guess, I would say that Seattle is a very strong market, and fact, has gotten stronger and more growth oriented when the NBA left."
As you can tell, he didn't come close to answering the question. The one small thing I read into that is, hey, just because we turn them down here, doesn't mean we can't come back.
That may be true, but will Hansen, Ballmer and the fans want to come back??
I followed up that question with another one about the letter sent to the NBA by the Maloofs that was obtained by the Associated Press. In that letter, the Maloofs pledged support of the Seattle deal and said there are significant differences with the deals. My question to Stern was about that...why is the league forcing the Maloofs to sell to another group who's offer is not as sufficient as Seattle's?
"The relocation of the team is for the owners to decide and not for the individual owner."
You see, the thing is, the NBA never denies a sale and relocation to two parties when they reach a deal. However, that's exactly what Stern has done in this case because, even though he denies it, he's fighting as hard as he can to have the Kings remain in Sacramento.