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Volume 24 No. 137


NBA Commissioner David Stern in a meeting next week “plans to update owners about the status of franchises in New Orleans and Sacramento, as well as expectations that deputy commissioner Adam Silver will succeed him,” according to Brian Smith of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Stern is “more hopeful than confident the Kings will remain in Sacramento, acknowledging his certainty had slightly dimmed since a tentative agreement was reached during All-Star weekend in late February.” Stern hopes to announce next week that a deal to keep the Hornets in New Orleans “is either done or on the verge of being completed.” Stern said, “(An agreement) that will have a very favorable lease, important capital improvements, intense tax benefits and a new TV deal, to boot, that allows the team to be neither a revenue-sharing recipient nor a revenue-sharing payer.” After officially vouching for Silver during All-Star weekend to suceed him, Stern yesterday said that he is “running the league on a year-by-year basis.” Stern: "I’m going to tell (the owners) that I’ll give ’em a yearly report. I’ll give them this year’s report, then I’ll tell that I’ll give them a report next year as well” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/5). In New Orleans, John Reid cites an NBA source as saying that there is “a third ownership group amongst the [finalists] to secure” the Hornets. During his annual state of the league address during All-Star weekend, Stern “declined to confirm or identify" if the group led by L.A businessman Raj Bhathal "had emerged as the top candidate to purchase the Hornets” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/5).