Excerpts from a media interview Wednesday with NBA Commissioner David Stern at EnergySolutions Arena.
Stern on how he feels about the Kings staying in Sacramento, compared to when a tentative deal was reached during All-Star weekend: You know, I'm more hopeful than I am confident right now. I'm hopeful because the city of Sacramento has between last meeting and this, has been responsible for responding on a sponsorship basis, on a ticket basis and on allocating $250 million or so for a new arena. In basically a week — what's today? Wednesday — in a week, our owners will be coming in for meetings next Thursday and next Friday, and we'll be having the Maloofs in to talk with some group of them and we'll see where it's going. Very, very hopeful that it gets on track, because the owners have a respect for the Maloofs. And I think the owners also have an enormous respect for what Sacramento has done over the years in supporting an NBA franchise. And it's always been our first preference — particularly when government agencies or states are helpful — to keep a team where a team is if they're playing in a good facility.
Pending Hornets sale: … We're having intense negotiations with three different groups. It remains my hope to tell the owners next week that we're very close or at the verge of or maybe just have made a deal for New Orleans that will keep the team in New Orleans. That will have a very favorable lease, important capital improvements, intense tax benefits and a new TV deal, to boot, that allows the team to be neither a revenue-sharing recipient, nor a revenue-sharing payer. That's our goal.
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver as his likely successor: We have a meeting next week. I'm going to tell [the owners] that I'll give 'em a yearly report. I'll give them this year's report, then I'll tell that I'll give them a report next year as well.
Brian T. Smith
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