Stern calls Kings relocation process 'complex,' may delay vote

SEATTLE -- The green and gold faithful may have to keep praying for answers a little while longer.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday in New York that a possible vote to relocate the Sacramento Kings franchise to Seattle may happen later than expected.

"It is just more complex. We've never had a situation like this," Stern said after hours of meeting with Sacramento and Seattle delegations.

He indicated he wanted owners to get more time to understand the ramifications of the dueling arena deals and the finances of both cities.

Investor Chris Hansen said he has spent 883 working on the deal to buy the Kings from the Maloof family and relocation and rename the team the Sonics. Hansen entered into an agreement earlier this year to buy 65 percent of the ailing franchise.

Members of the Maloof family were in the room yesterday as both Sacramento and Seattle made pitches to a "super committee" of owners.

On Thursday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn returned to town, and while he said he wouldn't speculate about what the delayed vote means, he said the Emerald City's selling points outweigh Sacramento's. The group is willing to answer any question the NBA owners want to ask.

"We'll just be working with them on the process. Again, we've got a good arena proposal here. A lot of political support. A lot of fan support," McGinn said.

McGinn said the presentation focused on the contrasts between the cities. He was emphatic that Seattle offers a more stable political and economic outlook than the California capital.

"We just spoke about the fact that Seattle's economy's on the rise, there's very strong fan support. A lot of major companies located here," McGinn said.

The resurrection of the Sonics started practically as soon as the franchise left in 2008. But backers hope this time they will never leave.