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NBA commissioner visits Oklahoma City



A group of National Basketball Association representatives looked and listened as city, state and business leaders presented their plan for hosting a professional team today as officials visited Oklahoma City.

At the end of the day, NBA commissioner David Stern announced the representatives' decision.


"It is their recommendation to the relocation committee to recommend to the board (NBA owners) moving the franchise to Oklahoma City," Stern said.


The owners of the Seattle SuperSonics franchise, led by Oklahoma City business Clay Bennett, have applied to the league a request to move the team from Seattle to Oklahoma City. The league's board of directors, made up of the owners of all the NBA teams, will consider the request in April.


The representatives visiting Oklahoma City will now send their opinion to a relocation committee who will then consider passing the recommendation along to the league's board.


Stern and the representatives first toured the Ford Center, where the team would play, then were presented with plans, facts and projections about the economics of moving a team to Oklahoma City. Stern called the day's efforts a "tour de force of Oklahoma," as more than just city and business leaders spoke about the project.


On hand to lend a hand for the proposal included Gov. Brad Henry, University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops and Oklahoma State University athletic director Mike Holder.


Stern said it was "extraordinary" that Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor came down to support Oklahoma City's effort.


While Stern and his team toured the Ford Center, the Oklahoma City Council approved an agreement with the Sonics ownership to lease the arena to the team. -Scott Cooper


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