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Old 02-26-2012, 11:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face For those with dreams of another Vancouver team

ORLANDO, FLA.—Looks like another NBA team in Vancouver is a dead issue.

Commissioner David Stern ruled out any North American expansion during his annual state of the league address at the all-star game here and made it sound as if there is little chance of a team even relocating to the city the league forsook just over a decade ago.

Stern said a move to keep the Kings in Sacramento has hurdles to go but remains a strong possibility and there should be some closure on a new ownership group to keep the league-owned Hornets in New Orleans in the next week to 10 days.

If those two things occur — Sacramento would be the least likely of the two — Vancouver would be dead for the foreseeable future.

“I just don’t see a North American addition,” said Stern. “We’re at 30, and we’ve got teams that we are working hard to keep in their cities, to make strong through revenue sharing in our system, to grow their value, their fan base and the like.”

The Kings face a March 1 deadline to put financing in place on an arena that’s seen as essential to keeping Sacramento in the league. Stern met Saturday, and will meet again Sunday, with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, and remained optimistic a deal could be reached.

The other immediate possibility might be the league-owned Hornets but Stern said a deal to keep them in New Orleans looks imminent once the league and the state of Louisiana work out an agreement.
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