Hornets Hype

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Archive for December, 2010

Help Save the Hornets. For Real.

By on December 27, 2010

Sure, we joked about buying the Hornets. But low and behold the guys over at Hornets247 have organized a real charity organization, the Save Our Hornets Foundation, which is accepting donations to help put people in seats at the Hornets game, to help ensure the attendance benchmark is set and the Hornets are locked into several more years of their lease, making it much more likely that the next owner is someone who wants to keep the team in New Orleans.

This Foundation is for real and sends schoolkids to games, so it’s a great cause in more ways than one.  No one need be rich to help.  Twenty bucks here, ten bucks there (or more), and with all the different donors, it will add up.  So this holiday season, take the time to give a little (or a lot) to help keep the Hornets in New Orleans.  Prove wrong the world who thinks New Orleans can’t support more than one championship team.  It’s the right thing to do.

Stern is a Genius

By on December 8, 2010

If you were in the middle of a public relations war with a powerful union, and had thus far failed to convince the public at large that your claims about NBA teams losing money was true, what would you do?  If you were David Stern, you’d buy the Hornets on behalf of the NBA and present them as Exhibit A to that skeptic public.

Leaked financials?  Tales of woe?  A steadfast determination to prove that in today’s economic climate the only way to survive is to slash player salaries?  Stern has hit a home run with this one.  By opening up a team to public examination in a way that would be impossible with an owner-owned club, Stern has laid bare the problems that can plague a franchise, and possibly even cause a fanbase to lose their loved team.  What fan wants that?  He’s put it all out there, plain as day, evidence of how your city could lose their team too.  Unless, of course, the collective bargaining agreement is severely altered.

It’s why Stern’s in no rush to sell the Hornets.  I mean, if a bunch of Nola-purchasers show up on his doorstep, he’s sure to sell the team back. But, either way, he’s had the ability to parade about his example of NBA finance, and what is wrong with it; he’s made his argument to the public that players are paid too much.  And for one, I’m buying into it.

Guaranteed contracts have to go.  Max caps need be lowered.  The only other options are increased game tickets and concessions.  And I can tell you which path gets my vote.   In the end, Stern’s game is public relations.  He’s won this round.  He also gets the moral high ground of having saved the Katrina-plagued Hornets.  Which, in part, is why Stern won’t let New Orleans lose the Hornets.   He wants this win on his record.

So for all the nay-sayers out there.  Keep talking.  I’ll keep doing everything I can to save the Hornets.  And along the way.  I might even find myself grateful to David Stern.

Change The Mojo For Fuck’s Sake

By on December 7, 2010

Hornets have lost their damn minds.  As most of you know by now, the Hornets have announced new, alternate, gold uniforms. From Hornets.com: “The alternate uniforms will be worn for the first time on Friday, Dec. 10…[and] will also sport their Mardi Gras gold uniforms for every Saturday game throughout the rest of the season.”  So we’re pre-planning when to wear them?  I like, instead, the idea of changing the unis to change the mojo.

I mean, the Bees played the preseason in only the “Creole Blue” uniforms as part of the “Believe in Blue” campaing to restore Louisiana’s coast.  But after a 1-7 preseason, I couldn’t wait to see the traditional whites at home.  For that matter, I didn’t really want to see the blues on the road.  Only then the Hornets started 8-0.  Then 11-1.  At that point, anything looked good.  Even on Willie Green.

But then came a rough 2-6 stretch.  So you know what?  I’m back at square one.  I really don’t want to see our team in white or blue the way they’re playing right now.  So, shit, why not break out the golds?  It’s not like we have anything to lose.  Other than players to injury.  So, maybe keep the same shoes.  Please.

Other than that, I’m eager to see the golds in action.  And if you want to make Jac Sperling happy, go buy one.  I will.

You Buy It, You Don’t Break It.

By on December 6, 2010

So far, the popular reaction to the Hornets’ takeover seems to be that if when the NBA buys the Hornets, the management’s hands will be tied and the team will be in terrible bind, akin to a torrential downpour when the water’s already high on the levees.  Not necessarily.  While the reality is that the obligations of the NBA will likely be contractual, at a base minimum, the NBA will have a fiduciary responsibility to treat the Hornets as if they were an impartial owner, and as if winning a championship was all that mattered.  To be any less would violate the integrity of the sport and may even be illegal.  This is why the NBA has hired a hockey executive, Jac Sperling, to run the team on an interim basis: the NBA needs someone who can be seen as impartial and honest, yet driven to succeed, and who’s capable of succeeding.  And as a bonus, for us, he’s a New Orleans native.

The other issue is the potential conflict of interest between the NBA and its collective group of owners having a piece of the Hornets.  By default, the other owners want the Hornets to fail, as, inversely, they all want their own teams to succeed.  Yet, the NBA must avoid the appearance of any impropriety.  So not only do I believe Sperling will be authorized to make his own independent decisions about the Hornet’s finances–without having to consult the NBA–but I would assume the NBA is prohibited from influencing his decisions.  Sperling will have to make his decisions based on what is best for the team, because, ultimately, that is what will make the Hornets more marketable, and hence, sellable.

So when if Dell Demps tells Sperling that he wants to move David Anderson and the team’s full trade exemption for Melo in a sign and trade, I think Sperling doesn’t blink.  I believe that if Demps wants to trade Banks, Green, and Mbenga for Iguodala and his massive contract, Sperling will have the ability to sign off on it.  Whatever comes to the table, Sperling will have to make based on what is best for the team, and no other consideration.  Demps is likely not done tinkering, and it seems that the last trade with Toronto was really just setting the table for another trade before the deadline.  Sperling is used to building a winner; I don’t see him wanting to do anything different here.  Besides, who doesn’t believe Stern wants to hand himself the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of year?

As for all us Hornets fans?  We can’t sweat it.  What we need to do is keep buying tickets to games.  We fill seats through the end of the year and all the talk of moving the franchise is moot, as we’ll be locked in for several more years.  By then, we win a championship, the city and state won’t let us leave, and hordes of locals will be fighting for the right to buy the team.  Also, after his retirement, CP3 is voted governor by 99% of the popular vote.  Right?  Right.  All right then.

Help Hornets Hype Buy The Hornets

By on December 5, 2010

By now, the rumors are everywhere.  The Hornets ownership situation is in chaos.  George Shinn wants out.  Gary Chouest wants out.  Maybe the NBA wants in?  Perhaps this is why the Times Picayune dug up the little nugget warning folks that if the Hornets don’t average 14,214 in attendance through the end of the year, the team can pay a $10 million exit fee and walk.  No big deal with either Shinn or Chouest involved: Shinn doesn’t have the extra $10M and Chouest has no incentive in moving away from his home.  But if some billionaire from St. Louis, Seattle, or Kansas City wants in, that $10 may be chump change.  So what’s a fan to do?

Buy the team.

That’s right.  It’s not that hard.  Hornets Hype will incorporate and start selling shares in a private stock offering.  Fellow #twittersection friend, @snavetrebor, correctly points out that all it takes is 17,000 investors willing to pay $17,000 each.  Symmetry.  I like it.  So what say you, folks, want to own an NBA team?

It’s the American way; the power of many accomplish what individuals alone cannot.  Plus, there’s no reason, if y’all want, that you can’t buy more than one share.  Spend $34,000 and you get two shares, $68,000 for four.  You get the idea.  So for all you millionaires out there, you can get 59 shares for just over $1 million.  Not a bad deal, right?  We can share a luxury suite or two, with the largest investors to get the floor seats.  Any unsold floor seats can go by lottery if unsold by gametime.

Don’t worry about how it all works.  Hornets Hype’s lawyers will draft a comprehensive set of by-laws to govern HornetsHype, Inc.; but, for the sake of parity, we’ll try to set up most decisions by majority rule.  Although, Chouest owns 35% of the team now,  51% of our ownership own the remaining 65%, and so will be able to override anything he says or does.  Unlikely anyone would personally own more than half of our corporation, but who are we to stop investors from helping buy the Hornets and keeping them in New Orleans?

So, if you have $17,000 or more burning a hole in your pocket, hit us up.  If not, well, buy some goddamn tickets.  We’re not that far off the attendance mark that keeps any potential out-of-state investor from swooping in and stealing the team.  The Hornets, despite their recent swoon, are 8-2 at home.  That’s some good percentage of happy basketball.  So go watch.  In person.  Support your team.  Even if you aren’t committed enough to help buy the team, show some love and help give someone else local a reason to do so.  It’ll be the best money you’ve spent in a long while.