NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media before Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - In his annual press conference before the start of the NBA Finals, commissioner David Stern said that the league would not allow the Sacramento Kings to move to Anaheim.
Speaking to the media at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City prior to Game 1 between the Thunder and the Miami Heat, Stern added that he believes the franchise will remain in Sacramento long-term.
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In April, the owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, backed out of a tentative agreement on a new downtown arena. Since then, they continue to be adamant that they do not intend to file for relocation and are committed to remaining in Sacramento.
Should the Maloofs file to relocate the franchise to another city, the NBA's Board of Governors would have to vote whether or not to allow a move.
"If there was a vote now, there would be no support for a move," Stern said. "And I believe the ownership that says they're planning to stay (in Sacramento).
"On other situations, I might hazard a guess or prognostication. On this one, I'm out of the business. For now."
The Maloof family has also remained adamant that they will not sell their majority ownership in the Kings.
In March, Sacramento City Council and Mayor Kevin Johnson voted to build a downtown entertainment and sports complex, with the support of the Kings and arena management company AEG.
Shortly after, the Maloof family raised several concerns about the agreement before ultimately backing out of a deal that the league deemed a fair deal.
Tuesday night after Stern's comments, Mayor Johnson released the following statement:
"Sacramento may have the fifth pick in the draft, but we remain a top pick with the commissioner. We apprecate the commitment to the best fans in the NBA."
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net