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Does David Stern and the NBA Have Something Against Seattle?

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 19:  Fans of the former NBA franchise Seattle SuperSonics which moved and became the Oklahoma City Thunder shows support for the Miami Heat to beat the Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 19, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Todd PheiferAnalyst IIIApril 19, 2013

Will the Seattle Supersonics be returning to the Emerald City? That is the $341 million question. Actually, the question keeps getting upped in price.

The tough part of this issue is David Stern. Fans in Seattle are obviously still a little bitter about how Stern allowed the team to get moved to Oklahoma City. Now, there is a general vibe that perhaps he is running interference. If the team stays in Sacramento, there will likely be an assumption that Stern poisoned the owners against the Pacific Northwest.

At this point, the Maloofs have publicly called (via ESPN) for the team to get sold to the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group. The reality is that Stern may not care a great deal what the Maloofs think.

What is slightly baffling is why the NBA would want to keep the Kings in Sacramento. In terms of making money, Seattle is arguably a much more vibrant marketplace in terms of fan population and complimentary sports teams.

Something feels fishy to fans, particularly since Stern has been accused of being arrogant (via Bleacher Report) in the past. Now, does this mean that he would block the team moving to Seattle just because he can? One never knows what truly goes on behind the scenes.

Complicating this issue is the conflicting information. As noted by The Seattle Times, Stern is saying one thing, while the Maloofs are saying another. Whenever the phrase “Stern also disputed” is involved, you know that the rhetoric is flying fast and furious.

NBA Insider Sam Amick tweeted this:

With Stern saying net result to Maloofs is same, would love to know their motivation in fighting so hard for Seattle. Something missing.

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 19, 2013

Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee tweeted this:

Maloofs in letter to NBA: "We see no reason to continue any dialogue with the Sacramento group."

— Tony Bizjak (@TonyBizjak) April 19, 2013

Finally, Dave “Softy” Mahler tweeted this:

Stern just made it obvious. Giving Sac time to win this. U don't see that now you're blind. As a bat.

— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) April 19, 2013

Something doesn’t add up. There are games afoot, and they may not benefit Seattle.

Follow @tpheifer

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