Ownership groups from the cities of Seattle and Sacramento made their cases to buy the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, but NBA commissioner David Stern said that a final decision by the NBA Board of Governors of which group will acquire the franchise may not come in April 18-19 meetings as previously expected.
Stern said that it's possible the ruling "slides past the board meeting," according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, but he wouldn't expect it to go too far beyondcapit April 19. Stern added that all parties are attempting to move quickly in determining which city will be the best place for the Kings franchise, which is being sold by the Maloof family.
A Seattle ownership group led by Microsoft CEO Chris Hansen came to an agreement with the Maloofs to buy the franchise, but Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has put together a local group that is attempting to keep the Kings in California's capital.
While time is of the essence, Stern said the league in general has never faced such a complicated sale before:
"This (decision) is so weighty," Stern told the media present, including Aldridge. "Each of the owners understands that. I think each (of the owners) is going to have their own opinion. We've never had a situation like this ... the seriousness of purpose here is, to me, incredible. They know there's a lot at stake here."
Stern also tackled an issue about NBA expansion. While the city of Sacramento is fighting fiercely to keep its franchise and Seattle still hasn't gotten over Oklahoma City's robbing of its Sonics, the commissioner said expansion isn't an option at this time:
"Right now, expansion on horseback, so to speak, is not a way to run your league," he said. "Without knowing what we're selling ... to cut off a chunk of that and have an expansion is imprudent on a quick decision. It doesn't mean that sometime in the future it may potentially be on the table, but right now it's not."
Now, the NBA Board of Governor's will rehash Wednesday's presentations by each ownership group with the hope that more clarity will come about as the meeting approaches.