David Stern: Final decision on Sacramento Kings expected on or about May 13
In comments made to the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York, David Stern says a resolution should be reached on or about May 13. The NBA also announced that the Relocation/Finance Committee will meet Monday via teleconference to make its recommendation to the Board of Governors.
Seattle Times staff reporter
NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday to expect a final decision on the fate of the Sacramento Kings on or about May 13.
Stern made those comments in a speech to the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York, which happened after the league had announced that the Relocation/Finance Committee would meet Monday via teleconference.
At that time, the committee is expected to make its recommendation on the fate of the Kings.
League bylaws require a grace period of seven business days from the time of the recommendation to the final, binding vote by the NBA's Board of Governors. So the earliest the vote could happen would be May 8.
However, the BOG does not have to vote on the earliest possible day — bylaws say the vote has to happen no earlier than seven and no later than 30 days after a recommendation — and Stern's comments indicated it will take a little more time.
Stern also seemed to again indicate that expansion will not be an option, saying: "One of the cities is going to be disappointed. That's the hard part."
The league is voting whether to approve the sale of the Kings to a group led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that would relocate them to Seattle.
The 12 owners on the Relocation/Finance committee who will make the recommendation are: Peter Holt, Spurs (chairman of the Board of Governors), Clay Bennett (Thunder), James Dolan (Knicks), Herb Simon (Pacers), Larry Tanenbaum (Raptors), Glen Taylor (Timberwolves), Jeanie Buss (Lakers), Robert Sarver (Suns), Greg Miller (Jazz), Wyc Grousbeck (Celtics), Ted Leonsis (Wizards) and Micky Arison (Heat).
That recommendation will then be sent along to the NBA's Board of Governors, which consists of one representative from each of the 30 teams. Relocation requires 16 of 30 votes to pass, and the sale 23 of 30. Stern said last week that relocation would be considered first.
Stern also said that when the BOG meets again, representatives of each city will have a chance to make a final presentation.
Stern on Thursday reiterated his long-held stance that expansion is not being considered. However, some rumors persist that expansion could still be percolating behind closed doors as a possible way out for the NBA to solve an issue that Stern last week said "has been wrenching."
Hansen's group has agreed to pay $358 million for a 65 percent share of the team, for an overall valuation of $550 million that would be the highest in NBA history. Sacramento's bid is not believed to be as high, but Stern said it's in the "same ballpark with respect to the net result" for the Maloof family, the current owners.
Hansen's group reached an agreement on the sale with the Maloofs in January. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has led an effort since then to assemble an ownership group that could come up with an offer big enough to entice the NBA to turn down the Seattle bid and keep the Kings where they have played since 1985.
Ballmer, part of the Seattle group, spoke briefly to reporters Thursday before a fundraising luncheon for the A PLUS youth program in Seattle, saying that Hansen "has worked really, really hard, really intelligently."
"Seattle has got a great bid," Ballmer said. "We've got a great arena plan. I think we've got the better arena plan. ... But it will be up to the NBA owners."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta