NBA commissioner noncommittal on Seattle efforts

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by KING5.com

KING5.com

Posted on February 7, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 6:22 PM

The NBA knows Seattle is working to bring professional basketball back to the city and wouldn't rule out a team relocating here.

But in an exclusive interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, NBA Commissioner David Stern said Seattle's hopes of landing a team hinge on a new arena deal.

“We had heard reports of some interest in Seattle and the name of the person who’s associated with it is not totally unknown to me. I think he came in and I met with him, it must be a year ago. Just a general conversation; he was brought in by a mutual friend,” Stern told the Tribune.

As KING 5 first reported in December, San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has bought a 3-acre parcel near Safeco Field for $21.6 million -- nearly $3 million more than its assessed value.

Hansen has talked with Seattle officials about building a new basketball and hockey arena in SODO, Mayor Mike McGinn confirmed Monday.

Stern told the Tribune that the NBA is not planning to add new franchises, which means a team from another city would need to decide to move to Seattle. 

The team everyone is focusing on is the Sacramento Kings -- a franchise that's currently in talks with its host city on a new arena plan. Should those talks fall through by March 1, a move to Seattle could be on the table.

See KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels's latest report on how KeyArena plays into Seattle's NBA dreams.

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