"I grew up here. [Stern] asked me to help," Sperling said. "Read into that what you want, but I think the commissioner, he's been very positive about this city going back to when the team was awarded in 2002, [then moving the team back from Oklahoma City] after Katrina ... and also the awarding of the 2008 All-Star game.
"We're in a difficult spot, yes, but I think his selection of me is a further indication of what is in his mind. He wants to try to make this asset more attractive so perhaps a local buyer will step up."
Sperling said there is no rush to sell the club and that one of his first orders of business will be to see whether revenue streams from ticket sales, sponsorships and the government inducements can be enhanced.
He said it would not be wise "to go try to find a buyer now when asset not performing at it's best."
Sperling said the NBA takeover should be seen as a positive development in terms of the team's ability to compete on the court.
"We have a well-funded owner who is going to be a collaborative partner with management who they have confidence in," Sperling said, referring to team president Hugh Weber and general manager Dell Demps.