There has been a real push since the NBA took control of the New Orleans Hornets to boost attendance — the reason being to reach a benchmark, otherwise a new owner of the team (once they find one) could easily move the team out of New Orleans (well, still would have had to pay $10 million but that is nothing when you pay hundreds of millions for a franchise).
The Hornets hit that benchmark, according to the Times-Picayune. Gov. Bobby Jindal will be at the game tonight to make the announcement. That means we will likely see the Hornets in New Orleans until 2014 when this lease is up. That’s step one in keeping the team put.
But there remains one little issue to keeping the Hornets in the Big Easy — finding an owner. Okay, that’s not such a little issue.
But other than local attorney Morris Bart and a few others willing to buy a minority stake, no one else from the metro area has publicly expressed a desire to purchase a controlling interest in the Hornets.
“I think the league has to be convinced there is a local buyer out there,’’ said Bill Sutton, a former consultant for the NBA who is the associate director and a professor at the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sports Business Management program. “You have to attract an owner that can make a go of it financially.’’
That’s what it ultimately will come down to if the Hornets are to stay near the good gumbo — an owner who wants to keep them there and not move them to Kansas City or wherever. Unless the NBA’s hand-picked guy Jac Sperling can find someone, attendance benchmarks and building up a season ticket base and all the rest of it will be moot.
Tired of NBA players dominating kids during the summer?
Here’s the video for you.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley loses in knockout – thanks to the smallest kid in the clip, who’s wearing a shirt way to big for him and a silly green hat.
Brian Robb of Celtics Hub:
Children in NBA player camps everywhere, you have been avenged.
Marc Gasol missed the final two months of last season and Olympics with a foot injury.
When will the Grizzlies center return?
Gasol in L’Esportiu, as translated by Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype:
On his foot injury:
“I’m really well and looking forward to starting (the season). I miss the competition, playing and enjoying basketball. All indications are that the foot is fine. I’ve practiced with the (Girona basketball club) juniors all I could, especially half-court sets.”
On almost making it to the Olympic Games:
“I was a couple of weeks away.”
After hurting his foot, it always seemed highly improbably Gasol would play in the Rio Games. But maybe he wasn’t that far off.
It’d be a huge boost to Memphis if Gasol is healthy as he sounds. The Grizzlies kept their window for winning open by re-signing Mike Conley and signing Chandler Parsons this summer, but Gasol is central to that. If healthy, Gasol is in the running for the NBA’s best center. Memphis went 30-22 with him and 12-18 without him last season (though other injuries contributed to the downfall).
Former Magic player Keith Appling was arrested in May.
Former Magic player Keith Appling was arrested in June.
Former Magic player Keith Appling was arrested in August.
Robert Allen of the Detroit Free Press:
Former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling was arrested after a traffic stop Sunday, his third arrest since May, Detroit police said.
Appling, 24, was pulled over at about 9 p.m. on the city’s east side after driving away from a traffic stop, and a gun was found in a bag on the side of the road, according to an Associated Press report.
Bismack Biyombo might have left Toronto, but he didn’t escape jokes about his age from the Raptors.
Biyombo – according to official records, which have been disputed – turned 24 yesterday.
Unofficially? Kyle Lowry: