David Stern's press conference did not go as Kings fans would have hoped. Stern began his comments this afternoon by stating that, regardless of whether you call it a term sheet or an agreement or anything else, it was always considered non-binding.
Stern said, ""I think it's fair for Maloofs to say they didn't want to do it." Stern added, "If they did it a little earlier, a little simpler and a little more directly, it could have saved some angst."
In perhaps the most surprising announcement, Stern stated that the league had committed to front the Maloofs $67 million up front towards the arena deal, and another $7 million after that. That's $74 million dollars, essentially covering the Maloof family's entire financial responsibility in the proposed arena deal.
As Stern was meeting with the press, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was meeting with the Maloofs. Stern stated that he was "hopeful" that the two sides could reach an agreement, but added that he was "not optimistic."
As for the team's future in Sacramento, Stern would only say that the Kings would be in Sacramento next season. He declined to comment or speculate beyond next year.
The general tone of Stern's comments indicated that he believes the deal as we knew it is dead. There is one more important press conference today, as Kevin Johnson will address the media later this afternoon. His comments will provide some insight as to whether the current arena proposal has any life remaining.