First found via the tremendous Tom Ziller at the fantastic Sactown Royalty. Ziller's article attempted to ascertain whether David Stern was actually, possibly thinking about maybe going the expansion route rather than the scorched earth franchise relocation method when it came to Seattle and the NBA.
At first blush, it seemed as though Ziller might be reading too much into the proverbial tea leaves (and, hey, can you blame the guy?), but when you watch the video at NBA.com, well, you can understand his sentiments. The video is here (and skip to around the 26 minute mark), but you can read the pertinent transcript below:
Q: Commissioner, regarding the Seattle new arena, is there a chance during the next five years when they’ll probably finalize it [the arena], that there’ll be an expansion team, a new Seattle Supersonics?
Stern: Are you the gentleman from Albania?
Stern: Romania, yes, Romania. You want to know about the Seattle Supersonics? I love it!
Q: Yeah, because I grew up with Seattle.
Stern: Oh, well, good! You see, that’s the universality of our game.
is, there seem to be plans, uh, moving along for a new arena in Seattle. There
was general agreement in the past that Seattle needed a new arena, and, uh, it
would be my hope that within the time frame that you mentioned – five years –
that if everything works out perfectly, there would be a new arena and a new
team in Seattle. That’s always for the NBA Board of Governors , but I know that
many governors are favorably inclined.
Who knows what rattles around the in the head of David Stern, and who knows if he truly meant to indicate expansion was a possibility, or if he merely meant a "new" team in much the same way I tell my 3-year-old daughter that her shoes are "new," even though her sister wore them four years ago.
Either way, God bless Romania.