The New Orleans Hornets are not safe and Chris Paul could be buying a new home in the 206 area code next year.
The Hornets haven’t been able to meet their attendance benchmark despite having an excellent team and a top five player. The Hornets need to average 14,213 people over the next 13 home games in order to keep the lease in place and keep the team in New Orleans…for the next few years at least.
The penalty to the team for leaving the state of Louisiana is a measly $10M and that is chump change for a man like Steve Ballmer, who recently traded $2B in Microsoft stock for cold hard cash. You don’t pull out that kind of money unless you are going to make a very large purchase—like a basketball team from the state of Louisiana and building their own, personal arena in Bellevue or Seattle.
Steve Ballmer is a huge basketball fan and tried to wrestle away the Sonics from Clay Bennett to keep them in Seattle, but it looks like he’s going to have a brand new toy to play with very soon.
Hurricane Katrina was a huge national tragedy and it indirectly resulted in the Sonics ending up in Oklahoma City. The Hornets moved to OKC for a year and a half, while their arena got rebuilt. The team was instrumental in helping rebuild the city and you really can’t take away from that.
Seattle is a basketball town and New Orleans really isn’t and with a playoff team on the court, Seattle will for sure have every seat in the arena sold out and Seattle will show exactly why it never deserved to have its team stolen away.
If you don’t think it was stolen watch Sonicsgate, it’ll open your eyes.
If you really don’t think this is going to happen, is it just a coincidence that David Stern got involved in the New Orleans ownership talks the day after Ballmer cashed out his stock and Gary Chouest all of a sudden started to get cold feet?
The Hornets are coming to Seattle. I just have a really good feeling about it.
Additionally, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, the deal with Gary Chouest has fallen through and it looks like the NBA is going to be taking control of the team until a suitable owner can be found.
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