Tag:relocation
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:01 pm
 

The state of the Nuggets fanbase re: Melo

Roundball Mining Company is an excellent Nuggets blog. This morning they posted an examination of whether to be angry or upset with Carmelo Anthony about all that's gone down in the past six months. It's well worth a read:

The Denver Nuggets are not what you would call a traditional powerhouse.  For most of nearly a decade and a half Denver was a doormat.  It is true there were some inspiring players and some exciting, even historic, moments.  The Nuggets also tortured fans with the Paul Westhead experiment Dick Motta and the dreadful backcourt of Junior Harrington and Vincent Yarbrough.  For the most part Denver suffered from poor management, lacked talent, some of their best players suffered debilitating injuries, see LaPhonso Ellis and Antonio McDyess, and the franchise was largely irrelevant.


That all changed when Carmelo Anthony arrived.  Since Melo was drafted by the Nuggets in June of 2003 Denver has yet to have a losing season or miss the playoffs.  After being one of the best teams in the ABA, once the Nuggets joined the NBA in 1976 they had never even had more than three consecutive winning seasons.  Alex English never lead the Nuggets to seven straight winning seasons.  No Nugget player has.  Carmelo was the catalyst of the longest stretch of prosperity this franchise has ever experienced.
via Roundball Mining Company » Should I be Mad at Carmelo Anthony?.


So that's an element here to be considered. Carmelo Anthony really did give the Nuggets the most success they've had in the history of their franchise. Which of course says a lot about the history of their franchise that habitual first-round exits with one great playoff run in a weak conference year is the best you've ever had, but still. Carmelo Anthony brought the most success to the Nuggets they've ever had. And now he's vapor trails. 
That's a complicated situation for fans. On the one hand, he's given that franchise more than they've ever had before. He's given them seven good years of consistent playoff-caliber seasons. He's put them on the NBA map, made them into a contender, if you take that word to its loosest interpretation. It's easy to argue he's given the fans more than they've ever had before, and so he doesn't owe them anything. 

On the other hand, how this shapes out is more similar to "The Decision" than some people would like to admit. By dragging this out, by having it hang over the team, even though those are decisions above him, he's hurting the fanbase and making them suffer through his departure. People have argued that the reason James is hated is because of how he left, not that he did leave. But in the end, results matter. The fans want Melo to stay, and he's not going to. And had he slipped off in the night under cover of free agency, the backlash would likely be palpable as well. At least Melo's been smart enough not to exacerbate it with public comments (which would get him fined). 

At the heart of this, again, though, is the question of whether players have a right to determine their own futures in terms of where they want to work. That same right is afforded you and I. However, the difference here is that Melo signed a contract and then an extension with the Nuggets to play in Denver. He wants an adjustment of that contract before its completion. Perhaps that's the issue. 

In a related note, check out Chris Webber's passionate but extremely insightful and lucid discussion of the Melo situation (starting at 1:18):





(HT: TheDailySegWay on Twitter)
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:16 am
 

Maloofs signal they're open to relocation

Kings owners announce they will pursue every option for long-term viability of the franchise, signaling end to pledge to keep team in Sacramento.
Posted by Matt Moore

It was inevitable that it would come to this. Eventually the owners of the Sacaramento Kings, Joe, and Gavin Maloof would have to be realistic about their situation in Sacramento with the Kings. Not only due to the long, drawn out failures by the city to finance a new arena, but of the economy wreaking havoc on everyone, making a financial liability like the Kings no longer an acceptable cost. First comes word from the Orange County Register that the Maloofs may be having financial difficulties with their Las Vegas investments, including an issue with a sizable loan. From the OC Register

The relocation rumors revved up again Friday when Bloomberg News Service reported that two private investment firms are negotiating to acquire a controlling interest in the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, also owned by the Maloofs, after the family violated its loan covenants.

If the Maloofs are having significant financial problems — the Sacramento Bee reports that in 2009 the family sold its original beer distributorship in New Mexico for more than $100 million and that there also were staff layoffs in the Kings organization and at The Palms — then perhaps there is a greater sense of urgency to move the franchise to a market with better demographics, more potential corporate sponsors and an NBA-ready arena.
via Are NBA's Kings Anaheim-bound? | nba, kings, arena - Home - The Orange County Register.

On the heels of that came a release Monday from the Kings ownership group saying: "We are looking at all options to ensure the long-term viability of this franchise".

Ruh-roh. 

The Kings are 29th in the league in attendance, but have proven throughout the years that a winning team will get them in the building and loud. Unlike the Hornets, who struggle with attendance even when their team is in the midst of a playoff race, Sacramento has shown they can be profitable when the team isn't dreadful. However, the city has also voted down multiple measures to support a new arena, and in today's NBA, that can be a death sentence. 

With Las Vegas well within the eye of the current ownership group, and billionaires in both San Jose and Anaheim (including Larry Ellison who has been in pursuit of a team multiple times in the past three years), there are other options for the Maloofs. In this kind of climate, you have to consider the odds of the team staying in Sacramento to be aggressively slipping away. 
Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:33 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 8:34 pm
 

Stern says he expects Euro teams within decade

Commissioner says he expects NBA teams in Europe by end of the decade. 
Posted by Matt Moore

David Stern is in Memphis tonight, speaking to Grizzlies fans (yes there are those people, har-dee-har-har). And during that conversation, Eli Savoie picked up this interesting comment




Um, wait, what?

This from the Commissioner who is considering contraction, who just had to purchase the Hornets in order to stabilize their ownership group. This in a league that is claiming massive losses across the board for its franchises in its current CBA battle. And he wants to move teams to Europe?

Setting aside the logistical issues of incorporating European teams into the NBA schedule and the problems with free agency, this really isn't the time to be mentioning it. and if you're going to mention it? Are you going to mention it in Memphis, which is a target for possible relocation and/or contraction in favor of said European teams? A curious situation, and that's before you look at the idea of trying to get it done in the next nine years. 

Stern's bold, you have to give him that much.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 5:25 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 7:10 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Moving plans aplenty


Posted by Matt Moore


1. Okay, so New Orleans has a few buyers mulling around, the league is all set to take ownership of the team, KC and Louisville are getting their checkbooks out, and meanwhile the Hornets have gone down the drain a bit. If I'm a New Orleans fan on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being a Hindu cow and 5 being that Saved by the Bell chick when she got addicted to stimulants, how freaked out should I be?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Well, about what? If it's the Hornets' recent struggles on the court, I'd go Hindu cow. If it's the team's long-term prospects in New Orleans, we better find you some tranquilizers. In the first game after the league purchase was announced, the Hornets grew barely more than 10,000 -- and that's paid attendance, which is easily manipulated. I can't imagine who'll show up for the Sacramento game Wednesday night. If the Hornets don't meet an attendance threshold by Jan. 31 -- and they're on pace to wildly miss the mark -- the team can opt out of its arena lease with the state. The Hornets being the deeply indebted, toxic asset they are, clearly this would enhance the potential value of the franchise in a sale because it would open the floor to more bidders and buyers. Nothing will happen this season, and I doubt any serious conversations will occur until after the lockout. But the future certainly looks grim.

2. You dropped word in the post-ups that the Nuggets are finally ready to deal Melo. Knowing the time crunch the Nugget are in with the deadline two and a half months away, is it possible teams could be applying pressure back on Denver in order to sweeten their deals?

KB: Certainly possible -- and maybe even a reason the Nuggets have quietly conveyed the impression to rival executives that they're inclined not to ride out the season with Melo if he refused to sign the extension before Feb. 24. This is the next, inevitable step in the process. In other words, step right up, folks. Bring your best offers. The landscape changes a bit Dec. 15 -- in five days -- when players who signed this past summer become trade-eligible. So far, sources say the Nuggets haven't received any offers that are better than the Nets' package centered around Derrick Favors and two first-round picks. Could that change? Any potential Melo suitors know the time is now to begin trying.

3. How much longer is the Andre Iguodala trade rumor Groundhog-Day-esque nightmare going to continue?

KB: As long as he has $56.5 million coming to him over the next four years, as long as there's one team possibly willing to absorb it, and as long as the Sixers are no better than a borderline eighth seed with him on the team.

4. You talked about the Knicks' resurgence in your quarterly report. What does New York have to do this season to take the next step, or have they hit their ceiling?

KB: Their run of 11 wins in 12 games is a little deceptive because of the competition they've faced, particularly in terms of defensive competition. But there's no doubting the potency of their offense -- and as you've pointed out, they're not benefiting from some ungodly 3-point shooting percentage that can't be sustained. They still need the same two things they needed and tried to get over the summer -- a rugged interior player to defend the basket and a dynamic wing. If they can get one of those between now and the deadline, they'll be on their way to a sure playoff berth -- maybe even a four or five seed. If they can't get Melo, they just have to make sure they don't jeopardize their future flexibility for sloppy seconds.

5. You wrote about how the Players Union's proposal has been completely ignored by the owners this week with so many non-starters. My question is this: Most of the Players' proposals only really hurt the top three to four teams in the league and would help all the little ones. Why are the smaller market teams not demanding the owners take a harder look at this proposal? Is it simply that damaging across the board or are they being bullied by the established big market teams?

KB: Let's start backwards: It certainly seems that the hard-liners are governing the owners' negotiating tactics, because there has been not a word of pushback from small-market owners to the league negotiators' treatment of the players' proposal -- which has been largely to ignore it. The owners -- at least the vast majority of them -- clearly view the players' plan as tweaks and Band-Aids where major reconstructive surgery is needed. When David Stern and Adam Silver have publicly stated on numerous occasions that they're aiming for massive changes to the sport's economic structure, no one is going to cross them publicly and give the players credit -- which they deserve -- for coming up with a handful of creative solutions.

Those solutions clearly don't go far enough in the eyes of Stern and his staunchest supporters. Plus, here's something else to chew on: The small-market owners, in particular, either believe or have been led to believe that they'll lose less money by shutting down the sport than they will by putting on another 82-game charade under the current system. In a way, Stern has gotten exactly what he wanted: By hitting the players over the head with a guillotine in the form of his draconian initial proposal, he boxed Billy Hunter into a corner. Hunter had no choice but to come back with an equally one-sided proposal, so as not to let the owners sense weakness. If a lockout is what the owners want, a lockout is what they are well on their way to achieving.

You can ask Ken a question for the Friday 5 with KB by emailing cbssportsnba@gmail.com or hitting us up on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA .
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:50 pm
 

Chris Paul struggles with New Orleans situation

Hornets star says he can only control what he can control.
Posted by Matt Moore




Chris Paul is having kind of an emotional rollercoaster over the past six months. On the block, off the block, top of the standings, having his team sold to the NBA, might be sold to another city, might stay in New Orleans, might go to Cafe Du Monde, might go to that awesome place across from the House of the Rising Sun (seriously, it exists). But in the meantime, Paul is just trying to stay afloat. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune :

What is your reaction about the sale of the team and all that transpired this week? Paul: That’s craziness. I’ve learned in this league to control what I can control and all of that is how I perform on the court and how our team does. That (sale) hasn’t bothered us that much if you ask me. We have no decision on who the owner is and where we play. We’re just fortunate to get to go out and play.

Is it important for this franchise to become stable? Guys have families and you always want to know where you are going to be and stuff. But at the end of the day, we can control what we can control.
via Chris Paul addresses New Orleans Hornets ownership, attendance, lockout possibility | NOLA.com .

"We can control what we can control." It's similar to when your office is considering layoffs, only instead of losing his job, having his family's stability and career threatened, he may have to pay someone to move his stuff (that would likely be reimbursed by the team as well).

For Paul, it's going to be hard for him not to have one foot out at the moment, to make it clear that no matter how this winds up, he intends on coming out in a winning situation. There's a very real palpable fear for players of Paul's age group (which includes LeBron, Wade, and Dwight Howard) that they will wind up as Kevin Garnett. With a brilliant career wasted in mediocrity and left to fight injuries and fatigue in their thirties to establish their legacies. So while Paul says he's only focusing on what he can control, you can bet that he intends on making the rest of his career something he very much can.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:23 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 10:46 pm
 

The NBA's NOLA dilemma: PR versus profit

As the NBA zeroes in on its acquisition of the Hornets, a moral versus business conundrum awaits the league and its owners over the future of basketball in New Orleans. 
Posted by Matt Moore



Let's start here: No one wants to move the New Orleans Hornets. You can't have watched footage of people dying in the Superdome and not have a soft spot in your heart for the Crescent City. The issue for the NBA as it takes ownership of the team is not one of what would make them and the rest of the world feel good. They know what that is. Find a local owner, keep the team in New Orleans, and everyone lives happily ever after. 

The question is whether that's a viable option and if they really feel that they're not just throwing money down a hole. The financial documents that came out Tuesday from Deadspin outlining the massive financial woes in New Orleans present a significant dilemma for the NBA and its owners as they try and determine the future of this franchise. There were questions about the viability of New Orleans as a market well before a hurricane overwhelmed the levies, and the questions extend not just to attendance and fan interest, but to market economics, sponsorship revenue, and the complete financial situation in New Orleans. This is all before we start to look at the relationship with the city's mayor and Louisiana's governor, both of whom have been very clear about one thing. They hope the NBA commits to keeping the Hornets in the city, but they will not be providing financial handouts in the form of tax breaks or anything else in order to make that happen. Not in this economy, not during the city's continued recovery, and not for a franchise that is a distant third in sports within the wards. (The other two being football and drinking.)

That's where things get tricky. If the NBA is pursuing its due diligence and trying to find the situation that yields the most promise financially within a decent time frame, it's difficult to see New Orleans as the answer to the riddle. Kansas City offers the building ready for attendance now, but has its own set of market questions. Anaheim offers the market and the building. Seattle offers the market and ownership. If David Stern is correct and this issue won't be resolved until after the CBA is resolved, that gives Seattle time to finance a new building as well as for Las Vegas to get approval for a new arena. Other cities waiting for the right situation might be in a better position by then to create an actual bidding war, which would only make it more difficult for the owners to select a bid from New Orleans. 

And yet, at the end of it, there are many positive signs towards New Orleans. Several owners are starting to make noise about being interested in offers. The goodwill of keeping the Hornets in New Orleans is something the league could use after ripping the Sonics away from Seattle under similar (though less emotional circumstances). Keeping the team local is the easy solution. But it also may be viewed as the impossible dream by owners. When the vote to move Seattle to OKC was made, only two owners voted against the measure, Paul Allen in the same area, and Mark Cuban, who questioned moving a big market team to a small market. Similar thoughts could be in play as the owners who voted for the most financially viable option follow suit and owners who question failing markets like New Orleans may not be moved enough to keep the team there. 

At the end of the day, the NBA seems very much in place to make a real "good faith" effort to keep the team in New Orleans. But the realities of the situation may force their hand in a direction no one wants to see. 
In unrelated news, the Hornets drew just a little over 10,000 for their game against the Pistons Wednesday night. 
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:09 pm
 

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Posted by Royce Young

If, and that's a big if, the Hornets don't stay in New Orleans, a number of cities will be lining up to grab them. And a report from FanHouse says the league is strongly looking at moving the team to Kansas City and the newly built Sprint Center.

Matt Moore laid out a number of possibilities that included Seattle, Anaheim, Chicago and Kansas City. What's the drawback to KC? Here's what Matt said:
That said, the jewel in their crown is pretty simple. It's the building. Sprint Center, built in 2005 and opened in 2007, has a capacity of 18,555 with a considerably higher number of available luxury suites and club seating due to how the building was constructed. Specifically, the arena was built to capitalize on how current arena economics work. Tickets are valuable, to be sure, but the money is made with sponsorships, and luxury seating. 

What's missing? A buyer. AEG who owns the Sprint Center, made noise early on about pursuing either a hockey or basketball team to fill the arena. But with the Pittsburgh Penguins using them as a straw man to get a new arena in Pittsburgh, there has been no team to arrive. Furthermore, it turns out the arena is making more money as a concert venue than it may with a regular tenant. With the recession having hit Kansas City well before the rest of the country and a lack of progressive technology firms in the area, finding a prospective owner outside of AEG is going to be a hard sell. Kansas City remains a viable candidate but it remains to be seen if either AEG or the city will commit to making a serious inquiry toward the Hornets. 
Other than the sentimental reasons to bring a team back to Seattle, Kansas City has to be the leader in the clubhouse. New building, big corporate city with a number of sponsorship opportunities and the potential for a great, dedicated fanbase. Like Matt pointed out, it all comes down to a buyer that wants to bring a team there.

The concern over it being a college town is a good one, but the same was said for Oklahoma City and I think we've all seen how that went over. Competing with the Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers wouldn't be easy for a professional franchise, but in a market like Kansas City, there's always room for more basketball.

But it's not about those reasons. It's about the building. Kansas City has what the league likes and what a prospective owner loves: a brand new arena that can make money. If Seattle had something new, no doubt in my mind it would be the frontrunner. But the NBA is about money and by all appearances, Kansas City would have the best shot at making the most right now.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 1:50 pm
 

The Hornets' potential relocation future examined

Should the Hornets not remain in New Orleans, where might they end up? We look at the options.  Posted by Matt Moore


With the NBA expected to take hold of the New Orleans Hornets without a locked on buyer in place, the next question will come immediately. What if a non-NOLA buyer comes through with the best offer? It's the money of the league and the owners that's being invested in removing George Shinn once and for all from the ranks of NBA ownership (see ya, George, don't let the luxury tax hit you on the way out), and the league will have a responsibility to both pursue and accept the best offer available. Should that offer come from someone outside the greater New Orleans area, it's entirely possible that the Hornets could be playing somewhere else in the near future. 

We've been down this road before. And while New Orleans lacks the great and storied history of the Sonics franchise, no one wants to see a city that fought back from the greatest natural disaster to hit a major metropolitan area in United States history lose its team. But this isn't about PR or kids with jerseys or history or anything else. It's about money. And other cities not only have incentive to bring in the team, but the most important assets to convince the NBA to abandon New Orleans: the buildings. 

New Orleans arena was built in 1999 for $114 million. It has a capacity of 18,000, 44 luxury suites, and has been described as "bland." It does not receive rave reviews from sponsors, guests, or media. The other cities in play have both newer arenas, as well as arenas fit more ably for modern NBA economics (luxury suites), etc. Others who do not have such arenas have the awesome draw of the almighty large market. 

So who are the prospective scavengers who might be circling while the Hornets continue to fill ... well, kind of fill New Orleans Arena? Here are the names being floated. (All arena information courtesy of Ballparks.com )

Kansas City: Kansas City once had an NBA team, the Kansas City Kings, now the Sacramento Kings, formerly the Cincinnati Kings, formerly the Rochester Royals, and briefly the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. But the team was terrible, management was terrible, and soon the team was off to Sacramento and the welcome bosom of cowbells. Kansas City is most often criticized as being a "college town," "a baseball town," "a football town" (what isn't?) and unable to support three major pro teams. The last of these criticisms ring most true as both the Royals and Chiefs struggle to fill their stadiums to reasonable capacities during down years (or as we Kansas Citizens like to call them, "the last ten years."

The "college town" aspect is a double-edged sword. While it's true that nearby KU and two-hour-neighbor MU hold the town's attention during basketball season, many of their players wind up in the pros. And at its heart, it's easy to argue that KC is a basketball town. It held the Big 12 tournament for years and the Big 8 before that. (And by "before that" I mean "before Texas used its influence to rob any other school in the Big 12 of any influence"). When the Heat and Thunder played a preseason game this fall, a packed house was in place. Then again, that's the Heat. Some towns simply aren't built for the pro game, and that's the argument of some in regards to KC. 

That said, the jewel in their crown is pretty simple. It's the building. Sprint Center, built in 2005 and opened in 2007, has a capacity of 18,555 with a considerably higher number of available luxury suites and club seating due to how the building was constructed. Specifically, the arena was built to capitalize on how current arena economics work. Tickets are valuable, to be sure, but the money is made with sponsorships, and luxury seating. 

What's missing? A buyer. AEG who owns the Sprint Center, made noise early on about pursuing either a hockey or basketball team to fill the arena. But with the Pittsburgh Penguins using them as a straw man to get a new arena in Pittsburgh, there has been no team to arrive. Furthermore, it turns out the arena is making more money as a concert venue than it may with a regular tenant. With the recession having hit Kansas City well before the rest of the country and a lack of progressive technology firms in the area, finding a prospective owner outside of AEG is going to be a hard sell. Kansas City remains a viable candidate but it remains to be seen if either AEG or the city will commit to making a serious inquiry toward the Hornets. 

St. Louis: Two Show-Me cities with an interest in basketball. Many of the same concerns with Kansas City pop up with St. Louis, only their baseball team pretty much guarantees a significant dropoff of attendance right when the playoffs would start. St. Louis has the population, and has the building (the Scottrade Center where the Blues play). 

The talks of St. Louis have never been as discussed as some of the other cities on this list, but with the Hornets being in such a unique position, it's possible a group could develop to push for a new team under the arch. 

Anaheim: Ah, California. Fun, sun, beaches, and lots and lots of sports teams. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers turning such a huge profit (despite the Clippers being, well, the Clippers) it's no wonder the NBA would be interested in another California team. Anaheim's done well with the Angels and Ducks, and though the market would no doubt be over-saturated should the Hornets relocate to the nearby neighbor of the City of Angels, the high cost of living would bring ticket prices to a point where profit is a near-given. 

As for the arena? They've already got one in place. The Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, has a capacity of 17,174, with 84 luxury seats and 1,716 club seats. That's a lot of dough in a place ripe with firms looking to purchase such tickets for clients and as perks. It would make the fifth California team along with the Kings (should the Kings stick around in Sacramento) and Warriors, and the area has been invested in looking for a team for a few years. 

In truth, Anaheim is a low-risk move, but could also backfire if the city simply can't sustain three franchises, regardless of its proximity to LA. Additionally, it's unknown if Jerry Buss, who runs the league about as much as anyone who isn't David Stern, would be amiable to another competitor near his market. He brought in Donald Sterling to own and move the San Diego Clippers, but an outsider honing in on his territory may not go over well, despite the massive, all-encompassing popularity and profitability of the Lakers. 

Las Vegas : Long story short, there's no arena, but they're willing to build one if a team is relocated. It's a PR disaster for the league, but a financial windfall for the owners. While the fanbase is sure to be fickle, every high priced mogul and entertainer would have seats, and good ones, for a high price. Sponsorships would be easier to sell than lemonade in hell, and attracting free agents would be a snap. Nice weather, fun city, profitability, and the draw of having the city all to itself in professional sports? What's stopping them?

They still don't have the building. 

There's a group in place pushing for it who even said they had a team lined up . And petitions are being gathered in order to get a vote before the state legislature, but no word has come if they have received enough. The situation remains in flux. 

Seattle: As tempted as I am to scream "Back of the line!" considering Seattle voters had multiple chances to pressure their representatives to save the Sonics and chose to make their stand against corporate greed in the form of publicly funded arenas for privately held teams, it's hard to argue with the fact that Seattle got outright screwed in the Clay Bennett relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City as the Thunder. The fanbase is passionate, it's a large market, renewing basketball there would be seen as a good PR move that could dampen the outrage of taking a team away from the city that survived Katrina, and all that merchandise has already been manufactured with the Sonics logo.

The problem?

You guessed it. They still  don't have the building. Key Arena simply isn't up to snuff, built in 1962. But with a capacity of 17,072, it does hold 58 suites and 1,702 club seats. It can make money, but not nearly in the way some of the other newer arenas can, and renovation costs would be high (hence Bennett's ability to squeeze out). Seattle fans have been clamoring for public officials to finance a new stadium, knowing the presence of an open building would bring a team back like moths to a flame. No dice, so far. 

The biggest thing Seattle has going for it? Rich people. With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vocal about the possibility of reacquiring a team, and with enough tech money in the area to finance a new arena in part, Seattle simply has the dough. While Seattle gets off more than it should for its complicity in the relocation of the Sonics, the fans were screwed, and this would go a long way with repairing national damage to the NBA's image in that event. Because moving New Orleans is fine, but Seattle really needs a team, apparently. 

Chicago : This one was brought up by Sports Illustrated  this week and it's an interesting question. Could Chicago support a sixth sports team, and a second basketball team? The Bulls undoubtedly would always be the favorite, the Yankees to the other team's Mets, as it were, but the market is indeed large enough to support a second team. Chicago has some of the best sports fans in the country, and attendance is almost always at stable league measures across sports. There are certainly enough investors to drum up an ownership group if someone was interested in a majority share, and sponsorships wouldn't be an issue, either. 

But what about the building? It already exists. 

The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Kings all occupy the Staples Center. While Staples is newer than Chicago's United Center which currently hosts the Bulls and defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, the United Center is bigger, and you can make the dates work. The question would be if it would make financial sense for the United Center to give up the free nights for eight months of the year (geez the NBA season is long) in exchange for the tenant, and whether logistics costs would skyrocket too much with having to handle the demands of three teams. 

A second Chicago team would satisfy the NBA owners contingent's interest in a stable, big-market location. An at least temporary arena is in place should the team's owners decide they want their own digs in another part of town, and it's hard to see there being no interest in the club given how rabid Chicago sports fans are.  But that's a whole lot of teams in one market, and even New York has not had more than the Knicks in several decades (though they're due for a new neighbor in 2012). It would simultaneously be the easy way out and a bold move for the league to approve and push for a second team in the Windy City. 

New Orleans : If Gary Chouest is out, a new owner in New Orleans is going to have to come out of left field. The fact that the franchise now looks like a garage sale isn't probably going to bring owners out, at least not the ones the NBA would want. But hey, there's a blog of fans looking for investors to make the $17,000 investment so that the city could own the team. Imagine a blog running an NBA team. We're pretty sure that's about three steps from the apocalypse. 

All kidding aside, the NBA is right to pursue local ownership. We saw with Seattle how traumatic losing a team can be. And while Hornets fans certainly don't have the history or passion of those Sonics fans in number, there's no reason they don't have that quality of investment. Kids still love going to Hornets games with their families, and guys still go Hornets games and yell about Emeka Okafor after the game like any city. The right thing to do would be to keep the Hornets in New Orleans. 

The problem is that these days, the right thing to do is almost never the right business decision to make. 

We'll keep you updated as the Hornets' ownership situation develops.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com