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Reports: NBA Franchise May Be Sold, Relocated To Seattle

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File photo of NBA Commissioner David Stern.  (credit:  Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

File photo of NBA Commissioner David Stern. (credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – On Thursday, David Stern announced that he would be stepping down as NBA commissioner come February 1, 2014. Basketball fans in the Seattle area are hoping for at least one more major move before he does.

Yahoo Sports reported that the NBA is leaning hard on the Maloof family to sell the Sacramento Kings so that the new owners can relocate that franchise to Seattle.

The owners of the Kings recently backed out of an agreement on a new arena with the city of Sacramento after the city did not want them to relocate to Anaheim.

“There are many people who appreciate the fact that Sacramento was, is, and can be a first class NBA city,” Stern said in his annual preseason conference call. “It is true that it needs a new building. We have our differences of opinions with all of our owners, and in this case with the Maloofs on some of the issues that have gone down here. But my advice to Sacramento is to continue the enormous support that you have shown for the team, and we’ll see what the next steps turn out to be.”

According to Yahoo, Stern is determined to bring a franchise back to Seattle before he retires.

The SuperSonics left Seattle in 2008 to become the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Stern has enough time to get a team back to Seattle,” a league source told Yahoo Sports.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stern regrets how the Sonics left Seattle.

“My regrets are that we didn’t do – weren’t able to do a better job of getting a building moved along so that we could have kept a team there,” Stern told ESPN. “I have regrets about both Vancouver and Seattle,” he added in his ESPN podcast.

Stern wants this problem fixed and believes Seattle can be a destination for a team. “I think it’s a very prime city for an NBA franchise,” Stern went on to say in the podcast. “But our goal here is to keep all of our teams where they are, but recognizing that that hasn’t’ been a goal that we have successfully achieved in the past.”

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