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Stern says sale of Hornets could be complete in few weeks

Feb 22, 2012, 1:37 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

In a lead up to All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner David Stern sat down with David Aldridge of TNT/NBA.com for an interview, one which covered everything from the level of play this season to Jeremy Lin. Because all NBA conversations must now by law include Jeremy Lin.

But maybe the most interesting quote was when Stern was asked about progress on the sale of the Hornets. (Transcription via At The Hive)

“We’re moving on dual tracks on a buyer, and with the state’s contribution under a new lease that will likely be complete, both of those, by March 1 or on or about March 1. The deal itself can’t close until the legislature confirms the role of the state, and the legislature convenes in March.”

I’m taking this with a few grains of salt — if you wanted to put pressure on a legislature to pass a more favorable lease during a down economy, saying they are holding up a sale of the team is a good way to do it. It’s the best card Stern could play here.

That said, Stern wouldn’t outright lie here and we hope this is true.

Stern said there was a one candidate “in the lead” and a second basically waiting in the wings to buy and take over the franchise, keeping it in the Crescent City. No names were revealed.

We’ll see how fast this actually happens (and what Stern says at his general press conference All-Star weekend) but it seems like there is a path to a new owner. Which is good. The league’s management of the Hornets has been at best and uncomfortable mess, and if you ask Mark Cuban much worse.

General Manager Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams deserve someone who will chart a direction for the franchise and give them a real chance to show what they can do.

  1. sebstar1 - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    What an arrogant interview. The whole thing with Aldridge

  2. limonadamas - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    The sooner the league fixes this embarassing conflict of interest, the better.

    RIP: Lakers and Rockets

  3. sprest83 - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    The team should be deleted or moved to Seattle. All this talk about bringing Seattle a team when there are a handful of cities that shouldn’t have a team period.

    • cakemixa - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Tell that to the 10,000+ season ticket holders in New Orleans. Maybe a little research before a posting such a dumb idea would help you.

      • sprest83 - Feb 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        LMAO! Research that YOU didn’t do. New Orleans has the 4th worst home attendance average in the league.

    • cakemixa - Feb 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Try looking at the their attendance as a percentage of max attendance. They aren’t even a bottom 10 team, idiot. Even better, go look up attendance by actual # of tickets scanned. Come back when you realize how dumb/wrong you are, lol.

    • cinnalocks - Feb 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      Screw that and you. New Orleans should have a team. You are as bad as Stern.

  4. AlohaMrHand - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I gotta admit the Hornets logo is pretty sweet.

  5. snoqualmieterry - Feb 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I want a team back in Seattle. If New Orleans doesn’t want their team, we do. And a NHL team as well.

  6. snoqualmieterry - Feb 22, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Screw that and you? How mature you are.

    • nowillrepeat - Feb 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      Yes, your intentions and comments are offensive to the good fans of New Orleans and for that you can sit on an upside down stool.So you want to go all OKC on New Orleans? That shows real maturity. Who again is being the selfish brat?

  7. lorddarkhelmet - Feb 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    the fact that they aren’t dead last in attendance tells me there is great potential there. Between Shinn and the league owning the team dans have had less than no reason to show up. Give them an owner that actually cares and they may be on the something.

  8. klownboy - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    What the NBA needs to do is to contract the Bobcats and return the Hornets back to Charlotte.

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