They are selling hope in New Orleans. Team personnel are speaking glowingly of the future as the team aggressively goes after name coaches. But a dark cloud has returned over the New Orleans Hornets franchise.
The sale of the team, something considered basically a done deal, is now stalled. The Associated Press has he story:
A person familiar with negotiations says Hornets sale talks between George Shinn and minority owner Gary Chouest have reached an “impasse” and that Shinn now wants to speak with other possible buyers.
Shinn’s preference is to deal only with investors who want to keep the Hornets in New Orleans, the person told The Associated Press Friday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Shinn and Chouest have yet to publicly discuss the sale.
Realize up front this leak could be a negotiating tactic: If you were Shinn and could not get everything you wanted, you could leak this is as a way to pressure Chouest. The same is true in reverse.
But either way, this has to out a damper on general manager Jeff Bower’s coaching search. Would you take a job where you know your boss could change — and change dramatically — in six months? The kind of high profile coaches they are reaching out to (Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, Doug Collins, Avery Johnson) are the kinds of guys with options. If they are not comfortable with the ownership situation, they may look elsewhere.