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Stern Advises ‘Cooling Off Period’ On Sacramento Arena Talks

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – The commissioner of the NBA said on Thursday that a “cooling off” period might be needed in the Sacramento arena effort.

That’s what David Stern said in a meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Stern said he had nothing to add on the future of the Kings in Sacramento after a tentative deal for a new arena collapsed last week. The agreement, with the league negotiating on behalf of the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, had been reached during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

But the Maloofs said they had concerns about the terms and costs of the deal and might prefer renovating their arena. Mayor Kevin Johnson said the city wouldn’t be interested in contributing to that.

Stern said it was “unfortunate to not be able to deliver on what was a very promising situation,” but that a “cooling off period” might be best.

That advice comes after the $391 million arena deal failed last week in New York followed by a back and forth between the city, the Think Big initiative and the Maloofs.

Think Big’s Chris Lehane compared the Maloofs to the North Koreans over the weekend. A Maloof spokesman then questioned Lehane’s credentials.

And Thursday, Johnson echoed the message from Stern.

“We just need a little time, it takes a little time,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of feelers, we’ve got a lot of people reaching out, there’s a lot of opportunity. Will it bare anything at the end of the day, I don’t know.”

Tuesday the mayor announced he’s looking at his Plan B for the failed deal, which is moving forward on building the downtown arena without the Kings as the anchor tenant. He said he’ll need a couple of weeks to see if that’s viable.

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