Sacramento Kings fans celebrated the final night of the 2012-3013 season at Sleep Train Arena with hope for the future of the franchise.
And around the arena, employees could be overheard saying “see you next season” to one another.
This hope is largely made possible by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the ownership team he assembled to try and prevent to team from being sold to a Seattle group. But the role of NBA Commissioner David Stern is also high on the list of reasons for Kings fans to be optimistic.
Stern has a history of supporting efforts to keep the team in Sacramento.
“He was willing to try again and again and again,” said Ailene Voisin who covers the NBA for the Sacramento Bee.
As Voisin pointed out in a Wednesday interview with FOX40, Stern was present at the first Kings game in Sacramento 28 years ago when he was a newly hired commissioner. Now he is preparing to retire.
“I don’t think he wants another relocation on his final watch,” said Voisin.
Of course, Stern doesn’t have a vote in the matter. That is the job of the NBA Board of Governors, made up of team owners.
“They hire him, they pay his salary, they give him raises,” explained Voisin. “They can fire him. But he’s so powerful, so influential.”
There is a reason the owners have kept Stern on the job for 28 years. They trust him. And his opinion will carry weight with the owners when they finally vote on the Kings relocation in a few weeks.
“And to me, the farther along it goes, that means they’re looking to resolve this for both cities, and not looking to abandon Sacramento,” Voisin concluded.