Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Plenty of bidders, Hornets not leaving Big Easy anytime soon

Detroit Pistons v New Orleans Hornets

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 08: Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets drives the ball around Ben Wallace #6 of the Detroit Pistons at the New Orleans Arena on December 8, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Hornets defeated the Pistons 93-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Getty Images

What happens in New York this week has a lot more to do with the long-term viability of the Hornets in New Orleans than anything else. Revenue sharing among owners and how the new salary system works — and if it means the Hornets really can keep Chris Paul — are at the heart of New Orleans ability to survive in its market.

But while those issues, more and more people are lining up to buy the team — and it’s not going anywhere.

That’s what league-appointed team president Jac Sperling told the Times-Picayune.

Actually, we’ve started having conversations with potential owners already. The number of potential owners has grown. I think the commissioner (David Stern) mentioned there were four or five, and I think the number has increased a little bit. There are some potential owners who live in New Orleans and some who live outside of New Orleans. But all of them understand that they would be buying a team that would have a long-term lease here. And that’s the goal — to extend the lease to a long-term arrangement with the state as part of finding a new owner.

The league is still negotiating a lease extension at a better rent, something else the new owner will inherit.

We could have a discussion about whether what the NBA needs to do is move out of struggling markets to stronger ones. Frankly, the owners should be having that conversation. But for now, Hornets fans don’t need to worry about their team moving for a while.