City Beat

City Beat: NBA's Stern: Expansion unlikely, 'idea of leaving Sacramento is not a good one'

NBA Commissioner David Stern dealt a blow to the dreams of basketball fans in both Seattle and Sacramento that the ongoing Kings saga will result in teams in both cities.

Speaking to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen in advance of this weekend's NBA All-Star game, Stern said he does not believe the league expanding is an option. "I haven't heard anything about expansion from our owners," Stern said. "They have discussed contraction in conjunction with the last collective bargaining agreement."

Still, some of Stern's comments could give NBA fans here a little hope as Mayor Kevin Johnson heads to Houston to lobby on Sacramento's behalf.

Stern said, "The idea of leaving Sacramento is not a good one. The idea of going back to Seattle is a good idea. We'll have to see how it plays out."

As for the arena situation in Seattle, where both the city and county have approved financing plans for a new facility south of downtown, Stern was a bit noncommittal.

"Right now, we have no approved plan for an arena in Seattle," he said. "We have a very good potential ownership group and set of plans, but there's a lot of work to be done."

The arena in Seattle is undergoing environmental review and is the subject of two lawsuits.

Here's a link to the Houston Chronicle story. However, you will need a paid subscription to access the article.