Tom Benson could be buying the New Orleans Hornets

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Well, Sean Payton may have a job in 2012, after all.

Saints owner Tom Benson is closing in on buying the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, according to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  The league’s Board of Governors currently is meeting in New York, considering offers submitted by Benson and by a group led by California swimwear manufacturer Raj Bhatal.

Benson has owned the Saints since 1985  The Hornets joined the NBA three years later, along with the Miami Heat.

Originally in Charlotte, where the team once boasted high-level talent like Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson, the Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, filling the void created when the Jazz moved to Utah.  (Amazingly, the Jazz never changed their name to something that better fit their new surroundings.)

The league’s cross-ownership rules once prohibited owners from owning teams in other major sports leagues.  When Wayne Huizenga bought the Dolphins, at a time when he owned baseball’s Marlins and the NHL’s Florida Panthers, the NFL adjusted the rule to allow NFL owners to own other teams that play in the same market.

And while the first line of this item largely was typed in jest, perhaps Benson could find something for Payton to do in connection with the Hornets, in order to keep Payton occupied during the 2012 football season.  The most difficult part of Payton’s suspension, which starts in three days, will come from going from full-speed, pedal-to-the-metal hard work to shutting down the engine and sitting in the garage.

32 responses to “Tom Benson could be buying the New Orleans Hornets

  1. As a Saints fan and hometown resident, I would like this. It would make pulling for the Hornets easier because we would have a “homer” in ownership. To have outsiders who are not familiar with the history or culture of the city, would take fans some time to warm up to them. Although I wouldn’t put Benson up there as the greatest owner ever, it does leave some level of comfort in regards to familiarity to the fans and the city.

  2. Not to mention, that Loomis and Payton can work doing Hornets stuff during their suspension. In your face Goddell.

  3. Off topic, does anyone know if the NBA has rules against “flagrant foul” pools or “Remember Me” fouls.

    Just curious…

  4. Sean can work the concession stands. Lol. Serious question, Sean can have no contact with the Saints, but if he’s “working with the Hornets” and new owner Benson is that still illegal?

  5. Hope Benson realizes it’ll be much tougher for his coaches to bring home a NBA championship than a NFL. No concussion and ACL bounties in basketball…

  6. Umm since when did we care if it would be “difficult” for Sean to serve out his suspension? (I’m sure it would be extremely difficult for all of us to take a year off and have to go spend some of our 10’s of millions of dollars… oh wait, that’s just Sean)

  7. Try if you will, NOBODY can keep New Orleans down. Geaux Saints!!! Geaux Hornets!!! Dual dynasties in the making!!! Eat it Goddell.

  8. Who the hell would want to buy the Hornets? Good luck raising that team from the ashes. Good luck keeping them in NO for that matter.

  9. How will Sean Peyton’s bounty program work in basketball – you get a wad of cash for a flagrant foul that requires the opposing player to be carried off (no carts on a court) – and I expect they will set up the program so Mr. Benson has “plausible deniability”

  10. @theseaward

    Sorry someone took your Supersonics. I like Seattle, but let’s face it, the rest of the United States doesn’t care about that city.

  11. Theseaward, research before you post and open your pie hole, the Hornets are contracted in to New Orleans through 2024. The same thing was said about the Saints, look at us now, Superbowl Champs 2009, and still a powerhouse, even as Goddell tries to gut our team and make it easy for the other 31 teams. Not gonna happen though.

  12. Signed and sealed Tom Benson owns the NOH the Who Dat is comming to the NBA!!!!!!!

    Great day in New Orleans!!!!

    Off to French Quarter Fest I go.

  13. theseaward says:
    Apr 13, 2012 11:24 AM
    Who the hell would want to buy the Hornets? Good luck raising that team from the ashes. Good luck keeping them in NO for that matter.


    Love the uninformed…

    New lease through 2024 (pending approval through legislation). So if you mean keeping them in NO for more than 12 years you suddenly are informed.

    Also, in basketball, a player or two makes a team relevant really quickly. You know like drafting well with the Timberwolves pick and the Hornets Lottery pick. Also add in a healthy Gordon, Ariza, Landry, and Jack and the team could be relevant in a year.

    Nonetheless, back to football – love the Payton comments.

  14. Mike Brown (Cincinnati owner) bought a hoagie at the deli today.

    This has just about as much relevance to football at this article does. Go talk about the NBA over on PBT.

  15. the Hornets & Raptors should be #Contracted there are too many teams & quality of play is horrendous! Can Nawlins honestly support 2 pro teams? I doubt it, very few NBA teams are actually breaking EVEN let alone making a profit. He’ll sell them w/i 5 yrs cause he’ll be losing money hand over fist

  16. (Amazingly, the Jazz never changed their name to something that better fit their new surroundings.)


    Interesting I never knew the Jazz were in New Orleans.

    But, you’re right they didn’t change their name to fit their surroundings. But, they did throw snow-capped peaks behind the “Jazz” logo. I guess that makes sense, lol.

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