The National Basketball Association will begin its annual meeting in Del Coronado, Calif., today and by the time it adjourns, June 23, it is likely the San Diego Clippers will have been allowed to move to Los Angeles.
The proposal to move the finacially troubled Clippers to Los Angeles to play in the Sports Arena is the major piece of business on the agenda.
The league also will consider a proposal, for which there is little support, by Jack McCloskey, Detroit Pistons general manager, that next season be divided into halves of 41 games, broken by the all-star game.
Moving the inept Clippers will be far easier to accomplish. They are beset with poor attendance and reportedly lost more than $3 million this season.
Owner Donald Sterling last week signed a lease with the Sports Arena to begin playing there next season, contingent on approval by at least 18 of the league's 23 owners. The Clippers also would have to pay an indemnity to the Los Angeles Lakers, who play in the Forum in Inglewood, less than 30 miles away.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Sterling are friends. Buss said two weeks ago that about $5 million would be required to allow the Clippers to move. If the transfer is approved, it would be the second time San Diego has lost an NBA team. The Rockets left for Houston after the 1970-71 season.
The NBA also will announce its coach of the year, rookie of the year, comeback player of the year and most valuable player at its awards luncheon Wednesday. Bullets Coach Gene Shue is the leading candidate for coach of the year.