HoopsHype Tom Benson rumors


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

March 27, 2013 Updates
March 14, 2013 Updates

Gayle and Tom Benson have pledged $5 million to Loyola University for scholarships for undergraduate students needing financial help. The gift, which Loyola announced Thursday, will be distributed over five years. The money will be divided into two parts, with $1 million for immediate-use scholarships and $4 million for an endowment that will generate financial aid for sophomores, juniors and seniors who have a grade-point average of at least 3.0, said Chris Wiseman, Loyola's associate vice president for development. New Orleans Times-Picayune

February 17, 2013 Updates

After he takes over, Silver promises to conduct the league’s business much the same way Stern has done over the last three decades that has helped the NBA emerge globally. "I’ve been here for 20 years, so I’ve been part of those plans,’’ Silver said. "Most of the senior management from the NBA is here sitting in the front row, so it will be the same team of people that continue to look at those opportunities. I think we’ll continue to do that the same way we have under David’s leadership.’’ Jay Cicero, the CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, said Silver likes New Orleans. It’s also likely Hornets owner Tom Benson will make a push to bring more All-Star Games to New Orleans. New Orleans Times-Picayune

January 24, 2013 Updates

The NBA's Board of Governors already has approved the name change. And the Pelicans’ team colors will be blue, red and gold “This isn’t something that was just done overnight,” Benson said. “This is a long process. We are not just changing the name to change the name. The Hornets name came from Charlotte. That fits in with Charlotte. It doesn’t fit into New Orleans, La., or our area here. The Hornets don’t mean anything here. We needed something that symbolizes New Orleans and Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. And nothing does that better than this name.” New Orleans Times-Picayune

“We really wanted to find that iconic name that really is special to New Orleans, that has a special New Orleans feel that our fans can resonate with and say hey ‘that is new Orleans that is our culture that is who we are. We wanted to find that iconic symbol just like the fleur de lis is for the Saints.” While the name of the team will remain the Hornets for the remainder of this season, the new logo and name will begin popping up almost immediately. Some New Orleans Pelicans merchandise was expected to be available at the team’s store in the New Orleans Arena Thursday. Officials said any marketing or advertisement for the 2013-2014 season will carry the new logo and name. New Orleans Times-Picayune

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