HOUSTON -- NBA Commissioner David Stern opened up All Star weekend with a welcome and a nod toward Seattle.
"It's great to see someone as strong as Steve Ballmer joining a group put together by Chris Hansen," said Stern.
Yet, Stern Thursday night, left the door open for Sacramento to make a competing bid for the Kings franchise.
"Seattle is a great market, Sacramento has been a good market, it's gonna be a very difficult decision for the Board of Governors to makes if Sacramento comes up with an offer," said Stern.
The NBA's top dog also said he's not worried about certain legal complications.
"I'm not expecting something bad from a legal perspective," he added.
Former Sonic star Gary Payton also doesn't seem concerned.
"I don't think there is no way they can stop it--we've done what I think is necessary, get an arena, great fans sold out all the time," said Payton.
The man known as the "Glove" told KING 5 he believes NBA owners will vote soon on a SuperSonics return.
"I think they're going to vote for Seattle to come back," said Payton.
Mayor of Sacramento, former NBA star and biggest proponent for the Kings to stay in Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, will be in Houston, although Stern says he has no plans to meet with him.