As the leaders from both sides of the NBA's Seattle vs. Sacramento debate presented their case to league officials and select owners on Wednesday, commissioner David Stern did nothing to halt the prolonged arguments from the two cities lobbying to house the current Sacramento Kings.
In fact, Stern admitted that this decision may be postponed even longer than anticipated:
Because of complex nature of this decision, David Stern said league may not have a Sac/Sea decision at owners meeting on April 19.—Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 3, 2013
Stern's admission came in stark contrast to the widely held assumption that the owners' meetings would be the official final resting place for the battle of these two West Coast cities. NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper had written that "a vote on the future of the Kings" would indeed be coming during those meetings in a piece published on Wednesday morning.
Of course, Howard-Cooper also hinted at the complex layers surrounding this debate, as well as the seemingly unending cycle of arguments and counterarguments from each side.
The complexities of the conversation were not lost on Stern:
Commissioner Stern said this issues was "complex" and "unprecedented" that the owners asked the NBA for more specific details from both—Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) April 3, 2013
Where do you think the Kings will be playing in 2013-14?
The league is no stranger to filling out change-of-address forms on behalf of its 30 different franchises. Only 13 teams still play games in their original home cities, and six of those clubs didn't exist before 1980.
But Stern still classified this decision as being essentially unprecedented:
Stern: "We've never had a situation like like this...there's a lot at stake here"—Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 3, 2013
He also opined that with compelling arguments overflowing from both sides of the issue, the league may have a tough time coming to a concensus:
Stern: "this one is so weighty. Each of the owners understands that...I think each (of the owners) is going to have their own opinion."—David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 3, 2013
And as for the prospect of the league granting each city its own franchise, Stern sang a familiar tune:
Stern reiterates that expansion is not an option for foreseeable future, at least through negotiation of next TV deal.—David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 3, 2013
At the end of the debate, the basketball world found itself in no more of a definitive position than that with which it opened the day:
Oh good, so no one knows anything more than they did this morning.—Jimmy Spencer (@JimmySpencerNBA) April 3, 2013
So, the future of the franchise remains a mystery. And the stance of the current Kings owners, the Maloof family, hasn't changed, either:
To add insult to injury, Kings owner George Maloof spoke on behalf of the Seattle group. Despite bid from Sac, Maloofs lobbying to move team—Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 3, 2013
It's only going to get uglier and more complicated until a decision is made.
As to when that decisive day will actually come, it's anyone's guess.