Stern, NBA Owners Have Tough Decision
By Dave “Deuce” Mason
NEW YORK— After a day full of presentations from Seattle and Sacramento, NBA commissioner David Stern said the Kings future in Sacramento may not be decided by the April 18 Board of Governors meetings.
Stern said on Wednesday that the owners understand the importance of the decision but said it’s one the league has never seen and that it’s a “weighty” issue.
“We’ve never had a situation like this. The seriousness of purpose to me is really incredible because they know there’s a lot at stake here for two communities and the NBA,“ Stern said.
“We’re doing it as fast as we collectively can together and it may well slide past the board meeting.”
Stern—who will retire on Feb. 1, 2014—called Seattle’s and Sacramento’s presentations “very strong. ”
“There’s no question that Seattle is a vibrant and thriving market with plans for a great building, and Sacramento has been a great and supportive market of the NBA with plans for a new building,” Stern said.
Some pundits and fans have suggested that the league should consider expansion but Stern said it’s not the time.
“Right now expansion sort of on horseback, so to speak, is not a prudent way to run a league,” Stern said.
“Without knowing what you’re selling, what the next TV deal is worth, what the full scope of international is, what our social media, digital rights, et cetera, to cut off a chunk of that and have an expansion is just imprudent on a quick decision.”
Sacramento group confident after meeting:
Mayor Kevin Johnson, potential owners Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov, and Senator Darrell Steinberg were very pleased with Sacramento’s meeting with the NBA.
Johnson said Sacramento’s presentation to the NBA focused on Sacramento’s strength as a market, the strong fan base, a strong ownership group, and a commitment to build a new downtown arena.
Ranadive explained to the NBA his vision for making the league a global sport.
“We talked about NBA 3.0, which is really making basketball the sport of the 21st century…and in order to do that there were really three vectors driving that,” Randive said.
“We laid out the vision for how if you think of the team and you think of the social network associated with the team, then that is a much more powerful paradigm to look at.
We talked about globalization, how at one point China and India were two thirds of the world economy, and at some point in the next couple of decades that will probably happen again”
But can Sacramento match the bid of the Seattle group?
In March, Stern said in a press conference that Sacramento’s initial bid was not “quite there.”
Ranadive said Wednesday his groups bid to purchase the Kings is competitive.
“We think our offer is very, very good, and I think all of the stakeholders would be very pleased with the offer that we made,” Ranadive said.
Meanwhile, Mastrov talked about putting together the right organization.
“You have to have a great team top to bottom, from your ownership group to your general manager to your coaching staff to your team to the guys off the bench and then probably your D‑League team,” Mastrov said.
“I think what you have here is a great team that’s been put together top to bottom.”
And the roller coaster ride continues.
Stay tuned to CBS Sports 1140 for the very latest and follow @DeuceMason who is covering the NBA meetings in New York City.