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Johnson made a desperate pitch to the NBA Board of Governors last April, promising league owners the city would find a way to help finance a new arena to replace the team’s current outdated suburban facility. He also bought time by presenting more than $10 million in commitments for new advertising, ticket purchases and other financial support from regional businesses for this season.

The NBA’s relocation committee, headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, who moved the team now known as the Thunder from Seattle in 2008, recommended that the league give the city a shot to follow through and handed down a March 1 deadline to come up with a plan to help finance an arena. Johnson delivered the agreement last Thursday _ on March 1, no less _ to send the plan to the City Council.

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Follow Antonio Gonzalez at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP