City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 16, 2011
NBA Commissioner Stern: Vegas, Anaheim interested in teams

NBA Commissioner David Stern had some things to say this week during his annual sit down chat with ESPN's Bill Simmons that Kings fans might find interesting - or frightening.

Perhaps most compelling was Stern's comment that the league has "been visited or contacted by three different groups that are putting up a building (arena) in Las Vegas," according to a report on published Wednesday. Stern added the league has also "had visits from Anaheim."

The Maloofs, who own the Kings, operate the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, so their ties to that city are well established. And there have been several reports linking the Kings to Anaheim.

Another city Stern sees as a potential future home for a team is Seattle, which lost the SuperSonics in 2008. Stern called Seattle "a very prime city for an NBA franchise" if plans for a new arena there materialize.

Stern said the league's goal was "to keep all of our teams where they are," but "that hasn't been a goal that we have successfully achieved in the past."

Much of the relocation talk lately has been about the New Orleans Hornets, who the NBA purchased in December.

At this point, I have no idea what the Kings' intentions are as the March 1 deadline for teams to file relocation notices approaches. The Maloofs have stopped commenting on the quest for a new arena and say they are instead focusing on improving the team.

Asked to name cities with arenas that could accommodate an NBA team, Stern said, "Well, for sure Kansas City." He added, "there's a brand-new building in Pittsburgh, there's a good building in St. Louis, there's a good building in Tampa/St. Pete."

As for Anaheim, he said that city's Honda Center has "got some years on it but I'm told it's a serviceable building."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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