NBA Commissioner David Stern said the NBA is excited about the approval of a new basketball arena in Seattle, but is not sure if or when the city will get a team.
“I don’t have any current view on where such a team comes from,” Stern said during a league Board of Governor’s press conference. “There’s no current team in play.”
Stern did not completely rule out the league expanding to add another team for Seattle, but indicated that the league’s relocation committee would have a say in that. That committee is headed up by Clay Bennett, whose ownership group bought the Seattle SuperSonics and moved them to Oklahoma City in 2008.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did not seem as optimistic. He said Thursday that expansion was not an option.
The board announced minutes earlier that Stern would retire on Feb. 1, 2014, handing the reigns to Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. Stern implied that it would ultimately be Silver dealing with a possible Seattle move, if it should happen.
Stern said there are a number of cities interested in obtaining an NBA franchise, including Vancouver, Anaheim, Las Vegas and Kansas City.
The board approved the sale of the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday to a group headed up by a California technology entrepreneur, but the sale must still be finalized.