FanPost

David Stern press conference, 3/8/13, transcript.


Transcribing this by hand. Luckily I have nimble fingers, just ask your m...nevermind. Here we go:

skipping introduction and opening comments.

*Q&A*

Q: Steve Large, "This will be the first time we've have a chance to ask you since the counter-bid was submitted, could you describe how you would say the strength of that counter bid is compared to the Seattle group?

A: Stern, "Yeah... I would say that the counter-bid, if you call it that, is got very strong financial people behind it, but it is not quite there in terms of a comparison to the Seattle bid. But, I've called a meeting of both committees considering the issue for April 3rd, and its my expectations that it probably will be, but it needs a little work

Q: Follow up, "Can you elaborate at all of what that work might be?

A: Stern, "Yes. It needs to be increased, by dollar amounts."

Q: Follow up, "Do you know if the Maloofs have seen the Mastrov/Burkel bid?"

A: Stern, "The bid is, i guess, is self titled as an expression of interest, and the answer is that the Maloofs have seen it... or representatives of the Maloofs have seen it. Yes.

Q: Tony Bizjak, "Can you say how much of a variance there is and whether you've talked with the Mastrov group about their ability.... (stern cuts in)

A: Stern, "Yes, there's an ongoing dialog, and I don't think it would serve me to get into too many details, but there's a substantial variance, but i have an expectation - a hope - that the variance will be eliminated by the time the owners get to consider it. I think I said at some earlier time, "life is a negotiation", I'm living that dream.

Q: Ethan Strauss, "If the Kings do indeed end up leaving Sacramento how optimistic would you be about the prospect of 2 bay area teams?"

A: Stern, "I don't think that we're in for expansion in the league anytime soon, that's just the way it is. We're now considering two different opportunities. One, I think it will take work in both cities by the way, we don't have a deal done in Seattle. The application is to play in a building ultimately that has not been permitted, has not been through environmental review, and every litigation has not been settled and it requires, i gather, infrastructure improvements to key arena on a temporary basis. On the other hand we have the Mayor and the city council, i think herculean efforts in Sacramento to craft a responsive bid so that a new arena can be built in downtown Sacramento. But I think it's going to wind up being one of those two, and I don't see another expansion franchise anytime soon. Is that responsive to your question?

Q: Follow up, "I'm more wondering if there's some sort of territorial rights barrier to somebody moving a team to San Jose."

A: Stern, "There are no territorial barriers, the only barrier is the vote by the NBA board of governors. But right now they're being convened on April 3rd and then on April 18th to consider application to sell the Kings [the video i'm using to transcribe gets a bit choppy for this section] and we believe there will be a comparable offer to keep the team in Sacramento and to build a new building there. Right now i think it is fair to say without telling you secrets that the offers are not comparable."

Q: Nick Monacelli, "A lot of us are very fuzzy on the process of the vote. Will your board look at Seattle and decide on that, and then look at Sacramento? Or will it all be one decision at the same time?"

A: Stern, "Welcome to my world, I'm fuzzy too. There are two separate committees, they actually require different votes. But, there's a lot of information that has to be digested. So we thought it would be more efficient to have them do it together. There's a vote to sell the team. That requires a three quarter [3/4] vote. There's also going to be a motion to move the team. That requires a majority vote [1/2]. I think the question for the owners is, "is there a reason why the application, in both of those cases should be denied because there's a reason to stay in Sacramento?". That is something that the owners are going to have to decide."

Q: Follow up, "If that application is devalued [?] then, will the owners immediately start reviewing the Sacramento offer or will that be pushed off for a few more weeks?"

A: Stern, "I believe, and we're never had anything like this, at least in the last 36 years that I'm aware of. It will be considered as in one grouping even though there will be separate votes, that the issue is, 'should the team be sold to the group that the Maloofs have moved to sell it to', or should that be turned down because the team should be kept in Sacramento because there's a building plan and another competitive bid. That's what the owners are going to have to consider, and if there's a sale... its complex because there could be two competing ownership groups and two competing cities, and we're trying to parse it out, and one of the reasons we're having an April 3rd meeting is so that we can get ahead of it to avoid some of that chaos that has occurred in considering this matter at successive NBA board meetings. We hope to have the committee and the issues relative well lined up before April 18th."

Q: Follow up, "will it be in New York City?"

A: Stern, "It will be in New York City."

Q: Antonio Gonzalez, "Just to kind of pick up on that last question, would any deal for Sacramento be contingent on the Maloofs approving that deal? In other words, is the NBA taking any steps here to avoid a situation where just a Seattle...[?]... and then we're just where we starting with..."

A: Stern, "I would say that it is the owners priority, in the first instance, to decide who they want to sell the team to. That said, at the end of the day, its for the board of governors to make the ultimate decision as to who the team will be sold to and where it will be located. I've spent a fair number of years to establish that power and prerogative within the board of governors. I said yes to the question, but there's a "but", and its a board prerogative at the end of the day.

Q: Follow up, "Could you elaborate on that, "a board prerogative" to then if you turn down Seattle, tell the Maloofs, "we want you to sell to a Burkle/Mastrov," or to what degree is there an ability to influence [them?]?"

A: Stern, "We've had important abilities to influence over the years, and we think on behalf of the board we'll maintain those influences. If an ownership group has decided to exit our league, it doesn't maintain the ultimate right to tell us where the team will be located, its for the board of governors to decide."

Q: Skipped, not relevant to the Kings. (about Warriors brand in Asia)

Q: Skipped, not relevant to the Kings. (about Ibaka's nut shot)

Q: Skipped, not relevant to the Kings. (about hard cap/luxury tax)

Q: Sam Amick, "When you say that the expectation is that the Mastrov bid would increase, it sounds like the premise may be that you prefer the team stays in Sacramento, you always said that.... [interrupted]

A: Stern, "No on this one, I don't even think that unless it increases it doesn't even get to the state of consideration based upon the owners. So i think in light of all of the good work that the mayor and the council have done, i think that we're still not there yet. But i don't have a final view on that."

Q: Follow up, "...mechanisms in place with Sacramento where they can have less cash on the table but still put more money in the Maloofs pocket, whether its the city loan, whether its...."

A: Stern, "I think its a pretty straightforward deal. And we're going to see whether there's a buyer in Sacramento that's prepared to step up and make the deal"

Q: Follow up, "Does it become a dollar for dollar valuation[?]? Seattle vs Sacramento dollar vs dollar?"

A: Stern, "No not dollar for dollar, there's an offer on the table. It's not an auction, its not going to be "ok you have a dollar..." I think the owners feel, I'm trying to gauge it in some shape or form, the owners feel that there's an offer on the table, and given what the city of Sacramento is willing to do, if there's going to be a buyer, they should step up and meet the offer. [and] Then the board will consider what to do."

Q: Skipped, not relevant to Kings. (about a historical warriors game)

Q: Unknown, "Assuming that the Sacramento is comparable to the Seattle bid by the time the board of governors meet [?], and both cities are going to get a new arena, what do the owners look at?"

A: Stern, "I'm not prepared to prognosticate that, those are the prerogatives that we preserve for the owners to make their decisions on and that's why this is something completely new and [garbled] working to corral all the facts and the considerations and put it in front of two committees. I don't pretend to have all the answers here. I usually pretend that i do, but at this one i don't.

Q: Jonathan Santiago, " The Seattle group has payed a 30 million dollar deposit down to the Maloofs. Will that have any bearing on the decision in this process as to where this team ends up?"

A: Stern, "No. That's just a part of the purchase price. It wont have anything, i believe... There's going to have to be any analysis of a bid. The bid is not quite as mature in the case of Sacramento yet. I don't mean to denigrate it, we have a signed purchase and sale agreement in Seattle. In Sacramento, we have an expression of intent, and a somewhat labored process that has been set up by the Maloofs as to how we would get to a agreement with the Sacramento purchaser. That process will ultimately be determined by the board, not by the Maloofs, as to how to assess that. So, i mean I'm just trying to be transparent on it, its ok for them to set up processes, but the ultimate process will be decided by the board. and I would like to see on behalf of the board whether there is a credible option in Sacramento, and then it will be put in front of the board.

Q: Unknown, "commissioner i understand that you've spoken with minority owner John Kehriotis. do you see a situation where he joins up with mastrov and burkle to fill that gap that you're speaking of?"

A: Stern, "Have you spoken with john? I'm not going to project, john said to me, he has an offer he's going to be making and I said "go for it john", and so he said he's "been encouraged by the commissioner to make an offer" , and I think in some fair sense I guess he's accurate- I wont run from that- but he's been in touch with me periodically and I've been happy to take his call; we'll take anyone's call in this situation. I've had occasion to speak to Mr Burkle, and Mr Mastrov, and some other investors that haven't quite revealed themselves and its very fluid and we're very open and I think by setting the April 3rd date, and inviting prospective bidders and mayors- if they have something to talk to us about- that's designed to move the process along.

Q: Follow up, "where is that going to take place?"
A: Stern, "New York, New York."

Q: Unknown, "Did you [talk?] to Mastrov and Hansen's [?]?"

A: Stern, "Uh, did I talk to...? No, but I do know that Mastrov is going to be at the game tonight, and I'm going to say hello to him. Because both he and Mr Hansen have been in touch with our office today. Okay than you everyone for coming today."

End press conference.

I did my best with accuracy. Please point out any mistakes you might find in the comments. Otherwise, enjoy.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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