Blog Entry

Report: Yahoo! co-founder doesn't want Hornets

Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:28 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Pretty much if you're wealthy and from New Orleans (or at least Louisiana), you're going to at least be asked about buying the Hornets. And that was the case with Yahoo! co-founder David Filo who happens to be wealthy and from the area.

But Yahoo! reported today that Filo isn't a candidate to buy the team. The original rumor came from a New Orleans television reporte r and evidently there's nothing to it. But that's according to a statement from a Yahoo! public relations person, so if we've learned anything from the NBA, a denial doesn't necessarily mean it's not true.

At the same time, unless there's a sentimental reason Gilo would want the team, it doesn't appear to be the best investment, at least from what we saw from the financial documents.

So far, that's the only major name that's surfaced from the New Orleans area. Every other candidate is an out of town buyer, something the NBA supposedly doesn't want to look at, because they want to keep the team in New Orleans. But the league also isn't going to eat $300 million, so basically if you want an NBA franchise and you've got around $300 million in your piggybank, you can have them.

Filo could have been looking at the option and backed off for now. Maybe he'll re-evaluate later. But right now, a prospective owner doesn't appear to be showing up any time soon. If that was the case, George Shinn would've held on to the team and sold it to someone else when Chouest stepped down.

There's a reason nobody wanted to buy. There's a reason the NBA had to step in. With other franchises you see four or five people putting in a bid to try and win over the right to buy the team. But with the Hornets, it's pretty much raise your hand at the auction and you'll hear sold.

Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2010 10:19 am

Report: Yahoo! co-founder doesn't want Hornets

talk about what you know doucher, the hornets do very well when they play well, the season you mentioned that ended with them losing to the spurs in game 7 was full of sellouts, and so was most of the next year, but the competitiveness of the team dropped off and so did the attendance people forget what went on with cp3 this offseason, i promise you that turned a lot of fans off as well, but once the saints are over, much like atlanta and other towns that arent nba first, things will pick up the hornets play in a small stadium so attendance rankings can give you the misbelief that the stadium is not selling well when in fact it has a higher percentage full than the others ranked near it but is simply a smaller stadium unless a really rich guy who can also pay for a stadium privately will buy this team it doesnt make sense in the current economy to leave, tea party politics simply wont fund a stadium, most of the candidates are in desperately poor states, where the government is even more broke than louisiana finally, i think it is unfair to portray the hornets in such a negative light when most of the franchises outside of the staples of the nba (lakers, celtics, knicks, etc.) are in the same position, and those leaked financial documents made me believe that an owner could be successful here as long as he didnt borrow 35 million in unsecured money from the team like shinn did...

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2010 1:02 am

Report: Yahoo! co-founder doesn't want Hornets

Precisely. This goes back to the fact that the Hornets' current home is not a long-term solution unless the buyer has pretty much bottomless pockets, a la Paul allen in Portland. However, POrtland has some history and has a championship, courtesy of Bill Walton. New ORleans has none of that. yes they have a wonderful point guard, but the rest of the team is nothing to write home about. the ownership has been lousy for years (though not as bad as say, the Los Angeles Clippers or Golden State Warriors) and the team itself, despite their string of playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference while Baron Davis played for them, has not really made its mark since the move to the Western Conference. Their best finish was the conference semifinals appearance when they lost in seven games to the Spurs in 2008. 

Ultimately, the Hornets are going to have to relocate if they are to survive. New Orleans simply is not a basketball town and has proven once before that it cannot support an NBA team for the long run. They had the Jazz until that franchise moved to Salt Lake City after the 1978-1979 season, and were not able to keep them. There are too many distractions for an NBA team. The NFL, due to he schedule, has a much more favorable situation, since there is only a single game every week and not all of them are in New ORleans. Finding paying customers for eight home games plus potentially the playoffs is a much easier proposition than filling a stadium for forty-one home games. And it is my belief that football is an easier sell in New ORleans than basketball. 

But all of this means that the Hornets are not going to be an easy sell. They do not enjoy a premium location, they do not have a roster that spells instant success (outside of Chris Paul) and they do not offer a financial footprint that is encouraging to potential owners. Particularly since the NBA is making public statements about how much they want to keep the team in New Orleans. This cannot make potential owners feel happy, since the city is part of the problem in the Hornets' case. Ultimately, I think the NBA is going to have to cave to an owner who wants to move the team. There are a number of fascinating possibilities, but I do not believe that New Orleans can credibly be counted among them. Where their new home may be is as yet impossible to opine on, but I do not believe it will be in Louisiana. And the NBA will sooner or later have to recognize that fact and sell the team to someone who will move it to an area where it has a chance to succeed. For all of New Orleans' good points, it has proven that it is not a good home for an NBA team - especially not the Hornets.

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