Thunder ownership chairman Clay Bennett watched the Sacramento Kings on Friday, but it was in New York City in his role as head of the NBA's relocation committee and not at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
A tentative deal for a new arena in Sacramento is falling apart, leaving open the possibility the team's owners could again try to move to Anaheim, Calif.
The Maloof family has balked at terms of the deal that was reached last month and though they said they want to remain in Sacramento, mayor and former NBA great Kevin Johnson said he isn't convinced after meeting with the owners Friday and hearing a new list of concerns. "It just feels like they were coming up with reasons of why not to do the deal," Johnson said.
During their Friday news conference, the Maloofs said they liked Sacramento but insisted the arena project was too expensive.
The Kings are scheduled to play at PowerBalance Pavilion next season. NBA commissioner David Stern wouldn't speculate where they would play beyond that, and said if they sought to relocate, approval would be left to the relocation committee headed by Bennett.
Sixth man James Harden did not dress for the Thunder's 115-89 victory over the Kings on Friday night because of a sore right knee, which initially felt tender the morning after Wednesday's 100-98 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.
It was only the second game Harden has missed this season. He is listed day-to-day and his status for Saturday's 7 p.m. game at Minnesota is uncertain.
Reserve forward Lazar Hayward also did not dress Friday night because of the flu and is considered day-to-day. Hayward said he thought he would be ready to play against the Timberwolves.
Though severe weather was in the immediate area three hours before tipoff and there were a few empty seats, Friday's game officially was a sellout because all tickets were sold.
It pushes the Thunder's home sellout streak to 45 straight games, including the final 14 games last season.
Thunder players and coaches admittedly are ill at ease whenever tornadoes are in the area.
"Without a doubt I'm scared of them," two-time scoring champ Kevin Durant said. "I got a storm shelter, so hopefully if they (tornadoes) want to come, I can hide in there. Of course, I'm scared of them."
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