Stop me if you've heard this one before: The New Orleans Hornets will have a new owner soon. It's been a running theme for a while with the league saying buyers were lined up way back in September.
But according to David Stern via an interview with NBA.com, for real this time, the Hornets could be sold soon. Maybe within a couple weeks.
“We’re moving on dual tracks on a buyer, and with the state’s contribution under a new lease that will likely be complete, both of those, by March 1 or on or about March 1. The deal itself can’t close until the legislature confirms the role of the state, and the legislature convenes in March.”Stern also told USA Today, "I'm optimistic and hopeful that we will complete the sale by the end of the month ... We're talking with multiple perspective buyers, but we're anticipating the ability to close by the end of the month ... We've had offers from seven but winnowed it down to two or three, and we're working on it."
The league has owned the Hornets since George Shinn decided to sell the team but couldn't find a proper buyer. By proper, I mean a buyer that would plan to keep the team in New Orleans. That's been Stern and the league's mission since purchasing the Hornets for an estimated $300 million.
Stern obviously can't wait to wash his hands of the situation as it came to a head with Chris Paul and the rescinding of the trade that sent him to the Lakers. Moving the team to an actual owner is definitely something the NBA wants to do before the end of the season.
But as this thing's gone, it's kind of a believe-it-when-we-see-it thing. Hopefully it's done sooner than later. For everyone's sake, but most of all, for general manager Dell Demps. I'm sure he'd like to go back to a normal working environment.