NEW YORK - The NBA's annual Board of Governors meeting, which for three years has been dominated by the Kings saga, tipped off this afternoon inside the historic St. Regis Hotel.
A steady stream of team owners entering the luxury hotel offered no clues into how they see the drama playing out as contingents in Seattle and Sacramento fight over the Kings' future. Owners of the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder were among those who rushed past a throng of more than a dozen reporters on the sidewalk of 55th Street.
Members of the Maloof family were inside the hotel, but managed to avoid the press throng.
Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob was one of the few who stopped to talk. One of Lacob's co-owners of the Warriors is Vivek Ranadive, the Silicon Valley software tycoon leading the Sacramento bid to purchase the Kings.
Lacob said he has encouraged Ranadive to pursue the Kings purchase. "I wish him the best," Lacob said.
If successful, Ranadive would have to divest his share in the Warriors.
Lacob said that despite his connection to Ranadive, he would remain objective in voting on the Kings' proposed move to Seattle.
Asked if having the Kings out of the Northern California market could help the Warriors' bottom line, Lacob said, "I don't think we look at it that way. I don't think that's an issue."
Ranadive and other members of his proposed ownership group did not travel to New York for the league meetings.
The Board of Governors will not make a final decision today or tomorrow on whether to accept a proposal by the Kings' owners to sell the franchise to a group seeking to move the team to Seattle. A subcommittee of owners tasked with examining the proposal - along with a competing bid by a potential Sacramento ownership group - is still several days away from making a recommendation on the matter.
The full Board of Governors - made up of all 30 team owners - cannot vote on the Kings' future until at least seven days after the subcommittee makes its recommendations, meaning the issue may not be resolved for another three weeks.