HoopsHype Tom Benson rumors

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May 13, 2015 Updates
May 12, 2015 Updates

The announcement of Williams' firing was made via press release in which executive vice president Mickey Loomis and GM Dell Demps expressed nothing but praise for Williams, who'd become not only popular in the locker room but also influential in the league as a member of the competition committee and, like Thibodeau, an assistant with Team USA. But league sources pointed out Tuesday that the people whose names were on the press release may not be the ones making the decision. Former Pistons executive Joe Dumars, a Louisiana native, has been providing input with the team and has a close relationship with Loomis and owner Tom Benson. CBSSports.com

“I have the utmost respect for Monty Williams, not only as a coach but as a person,” said Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. “He represented our team, our organization and our city with tremendous class and dignity. Gayle and I grew very fond of Monty and his wife Ingrid and of course their five beautiful children. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.” The Pelicans finished the 2014-15 season with a record of 45-37 and the eighth position in the Western Conference, earning New Orleans its first postseason berth in four seasons. “Making a decision like this is never easy and is never done hastily, especially when you are dealing with a person of Monty Williams’ character. We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis,” said Loomis. “While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision. We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future.” NBA.com

May 5, 2015 Updates

Williams has a year remaining on his contract and though management has yet to offer him an extension, Pelicans owner Tom Benson sent a letter of congratulations last week for the team's winning season and playoff appearance. ''He's a great coach, the whole team loves him, the organization loves him,'' Davis said. ''I don't know what's going to happen. That's none of my business.But he's done a lot for this organization since he's been here. He takes so much heat and really doesn't let it bother him. He makes sure that he stays focus on his goal, which is the team.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

April 28, 2015 Updates

New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson on Tuesday sent a letter of congratulations to coach Monty Williams and his staff and players, along with general manager Dell Demps and his staff for the team's winning season and playoff appearance. The letter reads as follows: "Dear Monty, Dell and all of the Pelicans Coaches and Players: I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for a job well done this past season. We made the playoffs in a very strong finish at the end of the season. That is a tribute to your hard work and determination. You were able to overcome the adversities that face every team, but it was the way you all came together as a team that made us all very proud. New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Our fans were truly galvanized by your dedication. Our theme this years was to Take Flight. I an confident that we have begun to take flight as a team. We now must turn our attention to getting better and coming back for the 1015-16 season with an even stronger resolve. I am very excited about the future of our Pelicans and you have my word and my resolve to bring everything to bear to win. New Orleans deserves an NBA Championship and we have the foundation, facilities and fans to make this a reality. Sincerely, Tom Benson, Owner." New Orleans Times-Picayune

February 11, 2015 Updates

A judge ruled Tuesday that Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson must undergo a psychiatric examination. The decision came as Benson's daughter and her children fare fighting to have the 87-year-old declared incapable of handling his affairs. USA Today Sports

February 10, 2015 Updates
January 22, 2015 Updates

The shocking struggle for control of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans escalated Thursday (Jan. 23) as family members associated with Rita Benson LeBlanc filed a lawsuit claiming that the teams' owner and family patriarch Tom Benson is incompetent and is being directed by a manipulative wife and her allies at the highest level of the sports empire. The suit was filed one day after Tom Benson unexpectedly announced plans to transfer future ownership of the clubs to wife, Gayle, cutting off his daughter, Renee LeBlanc, and his two grandchildren, Ryan LeBlanc and Rita Benson LeBlanc, who until recently had been designated as the heir apparent. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The lawsuit seeking to block the succession change was filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court at mid-day Thursday and assigned to Judge Kern Reese. It presents numerous claims that Benson is mentally and physically unfit to manage his personal or business affairs. Renee, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, are named as petitioners in the suit, which claims the 87-year-old Benson's declining health is much worse than publicly known and has rendered him unfit to manage his personal affairs or the business of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. The suit attempts to paint Gayle Benson, 67, as a gold-digging opportunist who has taken advantage of her husband's unfit state of health and ostracized family members in grasping for power and riches. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Tom Benson, who owns the NFL's Saints and NBA's Pelicans, has agreed to a succession plan that will give his wife, Gayle, control of New Orleans' major professional sports franchises after his death. In a statement provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday night, the 87-year-old Benson says his decision is meant to ensure the clubs' "long-term stability and success," and is about "the legacy of these two teams and everything we have done for the good of the city of New Orleans and our region." TimesLeaderOnline.com

May 12, 2014 Updates

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson was sidelined during the draft because of a knee injury. But he’s expected to be back on the field in time to present New Orleans’ 2018 Super Bowl bid next week at the NFL owners’ meetings in Atlanta. Benson, 86, underwent a 45-minute procedure to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee on Friday, according to the Saints. He was home later in the day and continued to monitor the Saints’ draft by phone. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton called him before each pick. ESPN.com

September 21, 2013 Updates

Shaquille O' Neal likes New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson, but he doesn't care much for the franchise's new nickname. Here is O'Neal uncut: ``It’s a terrible name. I told Charles on TNT, I don’t think I’ve seen a Pelican before. Pelicans, are they that big white bird? I would had named them Tigers, Crawfish or something. Pelicans -- no. But I wish them well. I’ll be anxious to see how many jerseys they sell. Hopefully one day they’ll get some marquee players and fill the arena up because it’s a town that wants to support something good. Louisiana, in general, if you give them a good product, they’ll get in their RVs and drive and they will support you. Hopefully, one day we’ll get two or three good players that people would want to spend their money on. `` New Orleans Times-Picayune

September 18, 2013 Updates

Team owner Tom Benson and his granddaughter Rita Benson Leblanc told reporters Tuesday afternoon that building a championship team meant building a top-notch practice facility. It would be hard to imagine any other team’s facility could be better than the one revealed Tuesday. According to Pelicans execs, the team spent $15 million on the new practice facility. It has a fingerprint scanner at the door to give players 24 hour access as well as a barber chair in the team’s locker room. WGNO

August 1, 2013 Updates
July 19, 2013 Updates
May 22, 2013 Updates
April 14, 2013 Updates

The 2008 departure of the Sonics has appeared to influence Stern's approach to the movement of franchises -- and therefore made it more difficult for Seattle to regain an NBA franchise. When the Hornets were in danger of being sold to an owner who might have moved the franchise out of New Orleans, Stern took the drastic step of using NBA money to buy the franchise. He was committed to keeping the team in New Orleans and sold the team for $338 million to Tom Benson, the local owner of the Saints, who next season will rebrand them as the Pelicans while entrenching the team in Louisiana. "He can't have a second incident of helping a team leave a market," said an NBA owner of Stern. "Seattle was bad enough. And I'm sure he feels that Seattle had a chance to keep the team the first time around. "The bottom line is that the incumbent always gets the last shot. You don't want teams moving around." SI.com

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