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Sale of Hornets to Tom Benson officially finalized

By Royce Young | NBA writer
Saints owner Tom Benson is the official owner of the New Orleans Hornets. (Getty Images)

David Stern, you are now officially off the hook. At least in terms of being an NBA owner.

The Hornets announced late Friday that the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to Tom Benson has been finalized.

“I'm thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets,” Benson said in a release. “There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well.

"We have the best, most dedicated fans in the world and will need them along the way as we work as an organization to make them proud," Benson continued. "Championship performance is tied to fan support and the passion of the New Orleans sports fan is second to none. We look forward to joining up with all of our valued current fans and also introducing this great team game to many more residents of our city and region."

As Benson mentioned, the Hornets have the top pick in the upcoming draft, which they will surely use on Anthony Davis, a player seen as a franchise-changing talent.

According to reports, the NBA sold the Hornets to Benson for $338 million. The league reportedly paid about $300 million to former owner George Shinn.

Benson, also the owner of the Saints, intends to keep the team in New Orleans as the state has approved an extension on the team's lease in Louisiana.

The NFL does have a stipulation that its owership can not own an NBA team in another NFL market, but as this is the same market, the stipulation does not apply.

Benson will be the sole owner of the team, not part of an ownership group.

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