David Stern will retire on Feb. 1, 2014 as commissioner of the NBA, and one of his final goals is to bring a franchise back to Seattle, according to sources.
Stern has become an ally of Steve Ballmer's group. Ballmer has been trying to get the Maloof family to sell the Sacramento Kings.
Sources say the league office is putting increased pressure on the Maloofs to sell the Kings.
"Stern has enough time to get a team back to Seattle, but he'll let Silver deal with the crowd [booing] on opening night," said a source.