With the NBA Board of Governors' decision Wednesday not to allow the Sacramento Kings' relocation to Seattle, commissioner David Stern and future commissioner Adam Silver said the league will keep the city in mind down the road.
"We fully expect to return there one day," Silver, who will take over for Stern after this season, said of Seattle.
The league wasn't put off by the aggressive nature of the Seattle groups' push to land an NBA franchise, and Stern added there were "generalized" talks of expansion in the board of governors meeting. He said there would be "fair dealing" and "consideration" for Seattle as an eventual place for an NBA team, but that wouldn't be a discussion until after the league finalizes its TV contracts set to expire after the 2015-16 season.
The league is expected to enter into deep negotiations about new TV rights deals this summer, Sports Business Daily reported earlier this week.
Stern called Wednesday's vote a win for Sacramento, not the NBA -- the decision was to keep the Kings in Sacramento, not to short-change the city of Seattle. The 22-8 vote against relocation ended an agreement between the current owners, the Maloof family, and the Seattle-based ownership group led by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen.
After the Seattle group raised the offer that put the valuation of the franchise at what would have been a record $625 million this week, Stern said that it did nothing wrong. Sacramento had an advantage because of its incumbency.