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NBA Commissioner David Stern just finished a conference call with reporters, and I asked him to give his updated outlook on the Kings' situation in Sacramento. The key and somewhat new point here is this: Despite the Maloofs' recent promises for patience and enthusiasm about the prospect of eventually getting a new arena in Sacramento, the time will come when that simply doesn't matter. The NBA, i.e. Stern and the Board of Governors, won't allow this thing to drag on so long that they have an antiquated market and a team playing in an absurdly-outdated building. Stern touches on the Board of Governor's patience level in the second part of Stern's comments below.
On his current outlook of the Sacramento situation...
"I think that there can be no questioning of the Maloofs' commitment to Sacramento - the way they've operated the team there, the way they've spent some significantly to explore alternative resolutions. I tend to be optimistic by nature. To me, I think if we can get the campaign going in its two prongs - that is to say, 1) what the mayor has said is that the arena is (outdated) and that we need to have a plan to replace it and the fans are supportive of the Maloofs. I think that (bodes) well for the future. I understand there's a campaign out to sell out the two opening games. I hope that happens. And I know that I spent a load of resources on looking into the Cal Expo and other potential plans. And so, I'm optimistic that they will have some movement.
"I don't think I would expect the board of governors to be eternally patient on this subject, given the fact that the NCAA apparently recently declared that it would not see Arco Arena as a place that they would have a regional tournament. I think the handwriting is on the wall for the building. What's not so clear it's what's on the agenda for its replacement. I'm cheered by the Maloofs' optimism and attitude, but at some point reality will take hold and I'm hopeful that that reality is a plan for a new building.
At what point is the Maloofs' patience irrelevant and how patient will the Board of Governors be?
"We like to focus on local options and how are ownership responds, but obviously we have a problem in Sacramento. But one of the good news potential is there's an opportunity to solve that problem, and I'm hopeful that it will get solved. I can't weigh it one way or the other. I'm taking my lead from Gavin and Joe, who seem enthusiastically engaged in the excitement of a new coach, a young team, potential sellouts for the first couple of games and the kind of community involvement that recognizes that the Kings are a precious community asset and everyone is rallying around it, I hope to get the board of governors to rally around it as well." - Sam Amick