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Las Vegas' NBA future on hold

LAS VEGAS — The future of a professional basketball franchise in southern Nevada remained on hold after the NBA Board of Governors decided to continue monitoring developments on a new arena.

NBA commissioner David Stern on Thursday cited a report by a seven-member owners committee that said an NBA-quality arena would enhance Las Vegas' chances.

But Stern added there were no immediate plans for a new franchise in the league, and he didn't promise Las Vegas would be first in line for a team.

"The report was generally positive," Stern said at a news conference in New York City. "We looked at various arena sites, there are several prospective owners for a Las Vegas franchise, and we're talking to a lot of people."

The committee was formed in April after Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman submitted a proposal seeking an NBA franchise without saying he would ask casino sports books to take NBA games off betting boards.

Stern remains uncomfortable with that position, but the committee did not ask Goodman to reconsider his stance.

Goodman called the report encouraging.

"There's no arena yet, so there's no way the NBA would commit (to Las Vegas)," said the mayor, who has long pushed for an NBA franchise. "(Stern) speaks so glowingly of our city. I believe one day we'll have a (NBA) team."

NETS DECLINE OPTION: The New Jersey Nets refused to pick up the fourth-year option on the contract of guard-forward Antoine Wright on Friday. Wright will remain under contract this season and then become an unrestricted free agent. The 15th pick overall in the 2005 draft, Wright averaged 3.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in his first two seasons.

GRIFFIN AUTOPSY: Former NBA player Eddie Griffin had more than three times the legal alcohol limit in his system when he crashed his sports utility vehicle into a moving train and died this summer in Houston, according to an autopsy report released Friday. The Harris County medical examiner's office said the 25-year-old Griffin died of "multiple blunt force injuries." The medical examiner's office performed tests on Griffin's bile and blood from his heart and liver and determined his blood-alcohol level was 0.26. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.