NBA commissioner David Stern, in his first comments on the topic, said Thursday there has been “no purchase or sale agreement” submitted in relation to the potential purchase of the Sacramento Kings by a group that would move the team to Seattle.
Otherwise, Stern shed little light on the situation while answering questions on a variety of topics during a news conference Thursday in London, where the New York Knicks played the Detroit Pistons.
Stern confirmed that Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will be given a chance to address the NBA Board of Governors or the Relocation Committee this spring to state that city’s case. He said that’s a courtesy given cities that have been supportive of teams and that “Sacramento has been particularly supportive.”
Asked specifically about Seattle’s involvement, Stern said, “We are more or less in a series of communications, but right now we don’t know anything in terms of actionable plans.”
The NBA has otherwise not commented since reports surfaced last week that owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, were negotiating with a group from Seattle led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. If that deal were to be completed, the Kings could begin playing at KeyArena next season.
Several reports last week characterized the deal as either done or nearing completion. There has been little news since, however, other than that coming out of Sacramento, where Johnson is leading a public charge to keep the team where it has played since 1985.
Johnson, a former NBA player, is attempting to put together a local ownership group.