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April 18, 2008 9:45 AM

Live from New York

Posted by Percy Allen

I made my way to the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan for today's NBA Board of Governor's meeting. Upon arriving to the hotel, I asked where the NBA media is gathering and was ushered to the 20th floor.

Outside the elevators a security guard stopped me and redirected me to a second floor media room. Before leaving, I saw Clay Bennett and commissioner David Stern emerging from a conference room together. They both wore comfortable smiles.

Bennett and I exchanged greetings, however, Stern avoided eye contact.

Elsewhere, the hotel is swarming with media types. This is my second BOG and this is more media than I remember. There's two television stations from Seattle (KIRO and KING) and Tacoma News Tribune reporter Eric Williams.

Gov. Christine Gregoire is also represented. She sent MarK W. Rupp who is the director of the governor's Washington, D.C. office.

Rupp expects the NBA owners to approve the Sonics' relocation bid, but said the governor wants to begin conversations of having a team in Seattle.

"We definitely want to have conversations with the NBA about getitng a franchise in Seattle,” he said. "My general understanding is that they are looking to go international, but Seattle is one of the most international cities in the world."

Brian Robinson, co-president of Save Our Sonics, also made the cross-country trip to New York. He's standing outside wearing a Sonics green and gold jacket. It's quite a scene.

"We don't expect it to go our way and we don't have a lot false hope, but we also think it's terribly relevant to be here," Robinson said. "We haven't based our actions based on what the NBA is going to do for a long time."

"I make a good point of standing in the middle of the sidewalk. They (the owners) avert their eyes and walk around me. I said hello to Jerry Buss. Larry Bird was in the bar last night. They're aware we're here and we'd love to talk to them."

As for the press conference, media was told to gather at 12:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. in Seattle) but experience tells me that this could drag out for a few hours.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m. --- Just spoke with a Sonics PR spokesman and he says the team did not change the website today. In fact, the redesign was launched Feb. 28. The spokesman said there was discussion about omitting "Seattle" from the front page, however, five other teams do not include their cities on the front page of the website.

Believe me. We checked. The teams are New Jersey, Memphis, Houston, Sacramento and Washington.

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