HoopsHype George Shinn rumors

December 7, 2010 Updates

To Shinn, the Hornets were little more than a prop to celebrate him as an upstanding pillar of the community. Now Shinn sells the Hornets to the NBA and gets to make believe he did it because he cares about the franchise staying in New Orleans. Another load of garbage out of him, another con on another city. Stern made this easy for Shinn, who does a public service and cashes out of the NBA. Yahoo! Sports

Jeff Pendergraph: If the league is struggling and hurting so bad, how are these teams getting bought up for premiums? We aren't talking about buying the Lakers or the Celtics. These are some of the struggling franchises yet sold for 300+ million dollars?!?! Twitter

December 6, 2010 Updates

"I suggested to the Commissioner (David Stern) that the league consider the purchase of the Hornets," Shinn said. "I wanted to ensure that the team remained in New Orleans, if that was possible, and recognized that the league could provide the necessary funding while a new owner was sought in New Orleans and negotiations with the city and the state could continue." FanHouse.com

Shinn had two proposed buyers for the team, including one that wanted to move the team, according to the source, but decided not to make either deal after a discussion with NBA commissioner David Stern. "George called David," the source said, "and said 'I have two offers to sell the team outside of Gary's offer, and one is to move the team. I don't want that to be my legacy. What can you do?' " NBA.com

The NBA is poised to assume total ownership of the New Orleans Hornets in the next few days, and published reports have someone with local ties overseeing the transition and eventual sale of the club. Jac Sperling, vice chairman of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, is a New Orleans-born attorney who has in the past negotiated the sale of professional sports teams and guided the Wild into one of hockey's most successful franchises, according to a report at SI.com. New Orleans Times-Picayune

League sources said Sunday night that the NBA would purchase 100 percent of the Hornets, including the 65 percent currently owned by George Shinn and the 35 percent owned by minority partner Gary Chouest. It's possible - but a long shot - that Chouest could turn around and purchase 100 percent of the team from the NBA. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Another league source said Sunday that NBA Commissioner David Stern would likely be taking these steps because he firmly wants the Hornets to remain in New Orleans. By taking over the team, the source said, Stern would be able to ensure a sale to someone who was also committed to keeping the team in New Orleans. New Orleans Times-Picayune

December 5, 2010 Updates

Chris Paul and the rest of the New Orleans Hornets will soon be playing for the first franchise in league history owned by the NBA. Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Sunday that the league's fast-moving plans to take temporary control of the Hornets are going ahead "100 percent" and will be publicly confirmed within the next few days, mirroring what Major League Baseball did with the Montreal Expos before that franchise was sold and moved to the nation's capital as the Washington Nationals. ESPN.com

December 4, 2010 Updates

The NBA is weighing whether to buy the New Orleans Hornets from longtime owner George Shinn to have greater control over the permanent sale of the franchise, according to sources with knowledge of the league's thinking. Two sources likened the NBA's potential involvement to Major League Baseball's purchase of the Montreal Expos before the team was ultimately sold and moved to the nation's capital as the Washington Nationals in 2005. ESPN.com

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, after ESPN.com's initial report about the possibility of the Hornets becoming the first franchise owned and operated by the league, quoted sources on its website Friday night saying that Chouest no longer thinks he can devote the time needed to run an NBA team as well as his private business. The league office and the Hornets declined requests from comment Friday from ESPN.com. Shinn controversially moved the Hornets from Charlotte to New Orleans for the 2002-03 season and the team was later forced to make Oklahoma City its home for two seasons in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Times-Picayune reported earlier this week that the Hornets can opt out of their current lease with the state of Louisiana and might have the freedom to move yet again if they average less than 14,213 fans during a 13-game stretch of home dates between Dec. 1 and Jan. 17. ESPN.com

Chouest is concerned about a potential work stoppage, according to sources, as the league’s players and owners renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement, set to expire at the end of this season. Sources also indicated that the billionaire shipping magnate does not think he can devote the time needed to run an NBA franchise as its sole owner and operate his private business at the same time. His company, global marine service company Edison Chouest Offshore, was hit hard by the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf after the BP oil spill. With Chouest’s reluctance to assume ownership, the NBA is considering buying Shinn’s share before seeking a buyer or a group of investors willing to keep the team in New Orleans, sources said Friday night. New Orleans Times-Picayune

December 3, 2010 Updates
November 26, 2010 Updates

Intriguing follow-up morsel to last week's note in this cyberspace about the seemingly collapsing sale of the Hornets from George Shinn to minority partner Gary Chouest and the belief of one source close to the situation that the sale will actually still happen by the end of the calendar year: Chouest has been a very visible presence at New Orleans home games. And Shinn hasn't. The Hornets have privately countered skepticism about their ability to keep hold of 2012 free agent-to-be Chris Paul by insisting that the team's high trade activity since general manager Dell Demps took over in August -- which began with the surrender of Paul's presumed successor Darren Collison in a four-team deal to get championship-tested swingman Trevor Ariza -- and the club's well-chronicled plans to thoroughly upgrade its practice facility are signs that the Hornets are moving away from the non-spending Shinn is known for. ESPN.com

November 19, 2010 Updates

As long as Shinn stays in power, rival teams will continue to believe that they can ultimately pry Paul away from the Hornets, based on the premise that Shinn will never spend enough to secure a long-term commitment from Paul, who is scheduled to be a free agent in the summer of 2012. ESPN.com

One source with knowledge of the Hornets' thinking maintains that the long-stalled sale of the franchise from George Shinn to minority partner Gary Chouest will still happen by the end of the year. There have been fears for months that the British Petroleum oil-spill disaster in April -- and the subsequent collateral impact it had on companies like Chouest's (Edison Chouest Offshore) in the offshore oil and gas industries -- could end hopes of a transfer of ownership control from Shinn to Chouest. ESPN.com

October 10, 2010 Updates

Prospective incoming owner Gary Chouest apparently has decided to not buy the team from long-time owner George Shinn. Last spring, Chouest, a local billionaire, reached an agreement in principle to buy out Shinn, the team's original owner. Chouest had purchased 25% of the team in 2007. But according to a league official familiar with the Hornets' rocky ownership situation, the deal fell apart. "Chouest didn't step up," the source said. "He's not going to buy the team from George. It looks as if George will have to hold onto it." New York Daily News

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