NEW YORK — David Stern gave another warning that the Sonics could eventually leave Seattle, saying Thursday in a conference call that the city is "not interested in having the NBA there."
Stern has said the Sonics' lease with the city is the worst in the NBA, and he went to Seattle in February to ask Washington state lawmakers for tax money to renovate Key Arena.
Sonics owner Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks Corp., has threatened to move or sell the team if state lawmakers don't approve a sales-tax package to pay for a new or renovated arena. But state lawmakers last month said there would be no deal this year.
"I would say that the city is making it pretty clear of what they want us to do, and we'll accommodate them," Stern said.
Asked what that meant, Stern responded: "What I mean is they're not interested in having the NBA there. We understand that, we understand that there are competing issues, and the mayor is free to make whatever decisions he needs to make and I support that.
"But that's a pretty strong signal and I think that the existing ownership has said they don't want to own a team that's not in Seattle, so I know what they're in the process of doing."
Knicks' Brown hospitalized
CLEVELAND — New York Knicks coach Larry Brown was hospitalized overnight after becoming ill in the third quarter of Thursday's game against the Cavaliers.
Brown, 65, who has had health issues in recent years, said he had an upset stomach. He was taken from Quicken Loans Arena on a stretcher following New York's loss. Brown appeared alert and was sitting upright with oxygen tubes in his nose as he was wheeled out to an emergency vehicle.
Team spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz said Brown was examined by Cavaliers team doctors after leaving the bench in the third quarter. Brown's vital signs were "stable," but because his symptoms came on so quickly, doctors felt it was best that he go to the hospital for further tests and observation.
The Knicks flew back to New York.
• Cavaliers star LeBron James sat out the game against New York with a sprained left ankle.