New Orleans Saints Rumors
Gayle Benson, who assumed control of the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints after Tom’s passing, paid a visit to the Pelicans before Friday’s practice to thank the team for their kind words. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said that he wanted to keep Gayle’s message to the team private, he did say that she stressed to the team that “everything here is going to be fine” moving forward.
“She came in and spoke to the team this morning and obviously we think the world of her,” Gentry said. “We don’t have any doubt that it’s going to be a smooth transition and everything is going to be at a very high level and a first-class level.”
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was recently hospitalized with flu symptoms, but he is now resting comfortably, according to a statement released by the teams. Benson, 90, was admitted to Ochsner Medical Center’s intensive care unit. According to the statement, he “requests and sincerely appreciates your thoughts and prayers.”
The New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans announced plans to assist in relief efforts after a series of tornadoes tore through the area on Tuesday, devastating the area of New Orleans East. No deaths have been reported, but at least 28 people were reported injured and an estimated 250 homes were damaged, while thousands were left without power.
Rita LeBlanc once expected to spend many years running the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, which would have made her one of the most powerful women in pro sports. This week, the disowned granddaughter has spent many hours on a witness stand, trying to persuade a judge that her 87-year-old grandfather, Tom Benson, was not of sound mind when he ousted her, her mother and her brother from ownership positions with his NFL and NBA clubs, and changed his succession plan to place his third wife in line to control his business empire.
“How often do you get a chance to have the Super Bowl take place in the same city where you live?” said Hornets center/forward Jason Smith, explaining his decision to buy tickets. Smith is joined by Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Robin Lopez, Roger Mason and Greivis Vasquez among Hornets players who bought Super Bowl XLVII tickets. Kick-off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – which is literally across Girod Street from the Hornets’ home arena – is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Central, giving players plenty of time to rest after a roughly three-hour flight from Minneapolis. Like several of his teammates, Smith said that his preference would have been to root for the Hornets’ NFL brothers, the New Orleans Saints. With no obvious reason to cheer for either participating team, Hornets players are split evenly between Baltimore and San Francisco.
Similar to the New Orleans Saints, officials with the New Orleans Hornets will closely monitor to Tropical Storm Isaac before making a call when to evacuate. As many as 11 Hornets players have been voluntarily working out at the team’s Alario Center training facility in Westwego. With the storm expected to become a hurricane and setting aim at the Gulf Coast, Greg Bensel, the senior vice president of communications/broadcasting for the Saints and Hornets, said team officials will have contingency plans in place after seeing the storm’s overnight development.