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Kings’ fate remains in limbo

Stern expects relocation plans may need two weeks to settle

NEW YORK – A decision on whether to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, once expected to come this week, now may not arrive until early May, NBA commissioner David Stern said Wednesday.

Stern made the comment in a brief, impromptu meeting with the media outside the NBA’s offices in New York after the league’s combined Relocation/Finance committee met for roughly four hours to discuss the Sacramento/Seattle battle over the Kings.

Asked when a decision may be made, Stern said: “I’d be charitable to say the first week of May, but it could slide a bit. I’m guessing 2-3 weeks (from now).”

The committee did not make a recommendation Wednesday to forward to the league’s Board of Governors, and Stern said it will meet again at the end of next week to further discuss the issue, likely via teleconference.

San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, a member of the committee as well as the chairman of the league’s Board of Governors, said owners are torn saying they are “not even close” to a decision.

“It’s a hard one,” he said as he hurried past reporters waiting in the lobby of the NBA offices. “It’s a hard one. You’ve got two great cities.”

Holt also didn’t rule out that expansion could be an option.

Asked if expansion is off the table, Holt said “not necessarily” and then reiterated that sentiment when asked again. Holt, though, said expansion was not discussed Wednesday.

Stern, however, said “there are no current plans to expand” while also repeating that expansion was not discussed.

Several league sources have said that the delay could give the league time to further consider expansion as a way out of the Seattle/Sacramento situation despite the fact that Stern has insisted repeatedly it is not something the league wants to do at the moment.

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