Since 2010, the New Orleans Hornets have been owned by the NBA, which has led to some poor decisions and conspiracy theories. It looks like the league’s control over the team may finally be over.
Tom Benson, current owner of the New Orleans Saints, is set to buy the Hornets for $338 billion.
“[USA Today reporter Jeff] Zillgitt reports that the essentials of the sale have been agreed to, but that it still needs to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors. That group is meeting today in New York. It was initially anticipated that the vote would take place today, but Zillgiit now reports the vote will take place later, at an as-yet unspecified time.”
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Saints who have seen their head coach suspended for all of next season. I guess Benson felt like it was a good time to add another professional franchise to his portfolio. This will undoubtedly be welcome news to everyone, since the NBA’s ownership of the Hornets was causing all kinds of conflict-of-interest debates, especially after the shady dealings with Chris Paul.
Benson’s ownership of both teams shouldn’t be a problem with either the NFL or the NBA. Sometimes the leagues frown upon owning two different franchises, like when Mark Cuban wanted to buy the Dodgers, but since these teams are in the same city, there shouldn’t be any problems.
I’d never be one to question a billionaire’s business decisions, but the Hornets have been losing money for years. We’ll see what Benson has in store to try and turn this team around.