Tom Benson Rumors
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson alleged family members “tried to kill” him in a deposition made public this week. Benson, who has been engaged in a legal fight over who will inherit the sports franchises, detailed why he decided to cut his daughter Renee, along with grandchildren Ryan and Rita LeBlanc, out of any ownership stake with the teams. “Well, they tried to kill me for one thing.” the 88-year-old billionaire businessman said in the deposition on March 28. “I found out they didn’t love me very much, trying to stab me in the back, wanted to take over everything, brought me to court saying I was crazy. You don’t need any more than that.”
Benson said it was after a verbal confrontation between his wife and Renee — one that Benson alleged likely took place after the suite incident — that he decided to change who inherited what. “As a matter of fact, I cut them off from everything,” Benson said. “I don’t have them to Saints games or Pelicans or nothing.”
Other NBA owners on the list include the Brooklyn Nets’ Mikhail Prokhorov ($7.6B), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.1B), New York Knicks owner Charles Dolan ($5B), Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers ($4.9B), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos ($4.7B), Tom Gores from the Detroit Pistons ($3.3B), Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ($3.3B), Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon ($2.8B), New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson ($2.2B), Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera ($2B), Glen Taylor from the Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.8B), Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry ($1.7B), Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander ($1.5B), Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller ($1.4B), Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf ($1.3B), former Bulls player and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan ($1.1B) and Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler ($1.1B).
Saints GM Mickey Loomis has taken on a greater personnel role above GM Dell Demps, but rival execs understand that move is only temporary. “Mickey is a football guy, not a basketball guy,” one exec said. And at the D-League Showcase, the buzz was getting louder that it’s only a matter of time before former Pistons executive Joe Dumars — who has a close relationship with Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson — returns to his native Louisiana to assume control. That’s usually how it works. When someone is assuming control in the NBA, he usually has a mess on his hands.
Tom Benson: I will repeat today as I did yesterday to the reporter. I am not selling either team. That is not in my makeup. I am not retiring or stepping aside, while I do appreciate all of the sincere concern for my health. The legacy of both these teams are still yet to be written and my legacy can be discussed when I am long gone, which by the way is not that important to me right now. What is important to me is getting both our teams back to winning and challenging for championships. That is what our fans want most, and no one is more keenly aware of the urgency of that objective than me. We have had tremendous success both on and off the field and remain model franchises in both leagues, something I am very proud of. Another important part of our legacy is continuing to rebuild our city, our hospitals and our schools to make them leading institutions in this country. My wife Gayle and I do not take this for granted and cherish our ability to participate and contribute annually.
Furthermore, my plan to transfer complete control to Gayle is unassailable and designed to provide the long term stability and resources that all franchises need to produce consistently winning teams. It is our determined objective that our fans, our City, our State, and our entire region will continue to join in and benefit from our success. Selling these teams is not part of a solution, rather it is detrimental to those goals. Gayle and I hope everyone enjoyed our win today over the Jacksonville Jaguars and last night when our Pelicans beat the Houston Rockets. We wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.
Pelicans owner Tom Benson is the only one donating to two different candidates – Bush and Bobby Jindal, governor of Lousiana since 2008. Not a single active NBA player has donated to a presidential candidate yet. Caron Butler gave money to the Democratic National Committee last June, though.