The New Orleans Hornets are quickly coming together.
According to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the sale of the franchise to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has officially gone through. The NBA’s board of governors approved the deal on Wednesday.
The agreement is for $338 million, which was the offer back in April when the deal was first placed on the table.
According to Smith, since the team has a new owner, the lease with the state of Louisiana will go through 2024 without any sort of escape clause. In other words, the Hornets will be in New Orleans for a very long time.
Benson sounds like a man who knows what the fans in his city are like, and that makes him rather excited about this opportunity (via Times-Picayune):
I’m thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets. There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the #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.
Ah yes, the No. 1 pick.
Benson’s Christmas came early late last month, when the ping-pong balls bounced the Hornets’ way to land the top pick. This year, Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis, who won the NCAA championship at the Superdome, is the consensus top pick and ready to make a major instant impact on the team.
He’s a can’t-miss prospect who can be the face of the franchise for the next decade…kind of like Drew Brees.
Until the bounty scandal erupted, the Saints were one of the model franchises of the NFL, and a lot of that had to do with the strong leadership of Benson. While Brees is still waiting on a long-term deal, the extremely loyal Benson will eventually come to an agreement with the biggest star in all of New Orleans.
He clearly loves the City of New Orleans, and today’s news is just the latest example.
Now, he goes to work promoting Davis as the next great star to complement Brees.
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