Stern was asked multiple times about Sacramento at his annual All-Star Weekend press conference Saturday evening in Orlando. He indicated he met briefly with Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson before the press event, and staff from the NBA and the city met at some length earlier in the day.
Stern told reporters in Orlando, "We have several remaining points that will not necessarily be guaranteed to be bridged, but we're going to give it our best shot tomorrow at a meeting that's going to be attended by me and my colleagues from the NBA, by the mayor and his colleagues, by the Maloof family representatives, and by members of the Relocation Committee."
When asked about the arena contribution to be made by the Maloofs, the team owners, Stern repeated his comments made earlier in the week, and amplified on them, saying all sides are doing all they can, but there is a chance it might not be enough.
"The Maloofs have stepped up, the City has stepped up. We're having very intense conversations. Sometimes the best¿intentioned and most fervent workers don't quite get to the finish line because there are things that separate them. But I'm most impressed by both sides."
Stern repeated several times at his press event, "Life is a negotiation.", and indicated there is a lot more negotiating to be done before the arena becomes a reality.
"We'd like the City, on behalf of the Maloofs, to make the largest possible contribution. The City would like the Maloofs to make the largest ¿¿ both have come up with very substantial contributions. It's really getting there. It's just not there yet. And we're looking for other ways, imaginative ways, to bridge the gap."
Reports are the city would like the Maloofs to contribute between 70 and 90 million dollars up front to the arena project. With the Maloofs ability to make the kind of commitment questioned by some, it was believed the NBA might loan that money to the Maloofs. Stern offered a one word answer when asked that question, "No."
One of his final comments came as no surprise to those who have followed this process over the years, "You mean that it's coming down to money after all of this? Yeah."
Tomorrow shapes up as a very significant day in the negotiations to find that money to make Sacramento's arena dream happen.