HoopsHype Tom Benson rumors

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

December 7, 2012 Updates

We can assume this whole New Orleans Pelicans concept stems from the fact that new Hornets owner Tom Benson owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans and thus might have something to gain financially from the switch. The nicest thing you can say about the whole plan is that the Hornets, according to league sources, have continued to beg the Utah Jazz to relinquish the nickname they kept when the New Orleans Jazz relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. ESPN.com

December 5, 2012 Updates

New Orleans Hornets spokesman Greg Bensel denied a Yahoo! Sports report that owner Tom Benson plans to change the nickname of his NBA franchise from the Hornets to Pelicans. "We’re not confirming that is the name,’’ Bensel said. "This is a process that’s ongoing and still in discussions. And it will be eventually decided by the NBA.’’ New Orleans Times-Picayune

"I won't say when it will happen, but of course I would support a change,'' Stern said. "That's a small additional thing.'' When Stern was asked if it could happen as early as next season, he jokingly said, "Knowing Tom he'd probably wrestle me to the ground tomorrow but I'm not going to give in that soon.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

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